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Interview with Mariah Hanson – The Dinah Founder

We caught up with OG Mariah Hanson, founder of The Dinah. The Dinah Weekend, also recognised as ‘The Dinah Shore,’ is an annual five-day weekend retreat and music festival held in Palm Springs, California, USA. This event is designed for the queer women, non-binary, and lesbian community and you might remember it from The L Word. The Nonchalant Magazine team headed there back in 2014 and we had a truly epic time.

The Dinah

The Dinah is taking place this year from September 20th-24th. There’s still time to grab your tickets, flights and accommodation peeps! Read on to hear all about Mariah’s motivation to set it up, her favourite acts to date and what the festival has in store.

The Dinah - Mariah Hanson with Katy Perry and the cast of The L Word
photo credit: Maile Klein 2009

1. How did Dinah Shore come about and when did it start?

It started in 1991. We are celebrating our 32nd year, no small feat for a music festival. We are very proud of our longevity and the support our community has provided to ensure each year is even more magical than the last.

2. We’ve watched it grow over the years. How many people are attending this year, and what’s been a milestone for you with the growth?

Thousands attend each year. The top-notch talent we have offered the past decade or so has brought the music festival to another level. We are considered an important festival in the music industry to help launch emerging artists.

The Dinah

3. Why did you decide to name it Dinah Shore?

There was once a golf tournament called The Dinah Shore Golf Tournament. Our parties were during that weekend so the name was relevant at the time. We have not officially called it Dinah Shore Weekend for years. It’s officially  The Dinah Event and Music Festival.

4. The Dinah featured on The L Word, talk us through that. Was that an exciting moment for the event?

The L Word was a historical moment for The Dinah. We were so excited to have Showtime filming at The Dinah. We’ve maintained a relationship with showtime ever since and appreciate the recognition such a major network has shown The Dinah.

The L Word Cast at The Dinah with Mariah Hanson

5. you’ve had some huge performers at The Dinah, who’s been your favourite and why?

Jessie Reyes. i just thought she was beyond amazing. and still do.  Lizzo was a highlight. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and of course Chaka Khan. 

Lizzo at The Dinah

6. What values and mission do you impose on the business?

I think inclusiveness, diversity, tolerance, unity, inspiration, and value are hallmarks of any successful business in this day and age. For The Dinah, it comes naturally. We are serving our community and want everyone who attends to feel seen, heard and valued.

7. What does the future look like for Dinah Shore? 

Very bright.

The Dinah

8. Outside of running Dinah Shore, what do you do?

I am on the board of Directors for Sonoma Education Foundation which serves our local school district, making sure all kids are represented and that the educational experience is equal for all. I wanted to be a school teacher once upon a time so education is near and dear to my heart.

9. If you could use a magic telephone to call yourself at 15 years old what would you say?

Confidence is simply the courage to be who you are. Celebrate yourself. There is no one like you. I would call any 15-year-old and tell him/her/they that.

10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

When one door closes, another opens.

11. What does it take to run an event to this scale?

A lot of perseverance, attention to detail and red wine.

12. What do you have in store for this year’s weekend?

You’ll have to come and see!

Thanks for chatting to the team Mariah. We look forward to seeing what’s in store for The Dinah this year!

If you head to The Dinah, we’d love to know your thoughts. Comment below and let us know what you got up to and your highlights.

More events for queer women and people this way.

Team Nonchalant x

Nonchalant Magazine
Nonchalant Magazine

This article was written by one of our creative team writers here at Nonchalant Magazine.

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