In a Sea of Scalpers, GoogaMooga's Do-Gooders

Maybe the world isn't full of money-hungry scalpers after all.

Though we've seen plenty of of desperate GoogaMooga-goers forking over cold, hard cash for tickets to the ostensibly free food and music festival held in Prospect Park this weekend, we also encountered the occasional uplifting glimmer of humanity.

(Read on for more about that. For more tales of profit-mongering, check out some of these audacious Craigslist posts.)

Drew Nelson, 32, was planted outside the festival's Prospect Park West entrance around noon on Saturday, wielding a cardboard sign and beseeching his fellow man for help.

Nelson, however, was not your standard subway beggar: All he wanted was a ticket.

"I heard about it yesterday," he said of the festival. "I checked Craigslist, and they were selling tickets for about $25. I tried to line one up, but people beat me to the punch."

Nelson, who lives in Williamsburg, had been waiting by the side of the walkway for around 15 minutes—"enough to eat my bagel," he said, before a passing Good Samaritan saw his sign and offered up an unused ticket for free.

Nelson was understandably delighted by his good fortune. Others, however, were not so lucky. Patch looked on as one scalper, stalking the bridge just before the park's entrance, suckered someone into paying $30 for a general admission ticket.

"Nothing in this world is free," said the scalper when asked how he had the gall to sell a ticket he got gratis. "You want good air, you gotta pay for good air, right?"

Robert May 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM
If good will and a good time for the community was the intent of this event then it was and is a complete failure.. if the intent was a media event with good press in exchange for food then it is a complete success. For the restaurants involved, the y have good will room the few thousand allowed in and BAD will from the 10s of thousands who would have liked to go but were excluded... if they charged for all tickets then nobody would have cared but giving away a few thousand free tickets blew it for them.. There a restaurants on the list that I go to occasionally and a few that are on my wish list.. I will do my best to avoid them in the future and if I find myself there with a group I will be telling management what bad will the event brought them.. of course the media coverage will be all positive.. it is a cool event with a cool name being run by cool people after all... As for the scalpers.. even if scalping itself is legal selling ANYTHING in the park without a permit is illegal and they should be removing anyone who is doing it from the park.
Lou Howort May 21, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Why did the organizers require tickets in the first place? Because the vendors were providing free food? When Spike Lee sponsored a celebration for Michael Jackson a couple of years ago all were welcome, no tickets necessary. That event had the attraction of free entertainment, attracted thousands of people and was very peaceful. Why didn't the organizers of this event do the same. This event could have been cool but it wasn't because of a bad decision by the organizers. The politicians and park officials who approved this event should not allow it to happen again if tickets are required. Are you listening Marty Markowitz?
Adam Rabiner May 21, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I emailed an extra ticket without charging to my wife's co-worker. She had already purchased on for $10 from Craigslist. I think it is slimey to charge for something that you got for free. That said, I think this should remain a ticketed event if it happens again. It was crowded enough as is. Open to all would have been a mad-house with even worse lines. The problem was that the early publicity was scarce and by the time a lot of people learned about the event, the general admissions ticks were gone. From what I heard, the $250 Googa Mooga Extra ticket holders felt especially ripped off because even though there food/drink was free they too faced huge lines and delays.


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