For the first time since 2019, Maha was back this year as a two-day festival packed with musicians, local and not, representing a range of genres.
After COVID-19 pandemic protocols led to a scaled-down event with fewer people last year, its return to Stinson Park on Friday and Saturday with more music, food, drink and activities was well done. welcomed.
Maha’s co-director Rachel Grace said organizers expected around 11,000 people to attend the event this year.
The pandemic canceled the 2020 festival and shortened last year’s event to one day with reduced capacity. Grace said it’s exciting to bring back some elements that were cut last year, like the Community Village, an area where nonprofits set up information booths and offer activities.
“It’s so central to our mission to share the stage in this way, that last year didn’t quite go well,” she said. “We’re also able to have a few more food vendors than last year and a few more activities, so it’s kind of a real full experience.”
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Friday’s headliner was indie-rock band Car Seat Headrest. Beach House, a dream pop duo from Baltimore, was due to headline Saturday night after a performance by rap and hip-hop artist Princess Nokia.
The lineup for the event also included several local musical artists, including Marcey Yates, The Real Zebos, Dominique Morgan, Las Cruxes, Bad Self Portraits and DJ Shor-T.
Besides the music, the event included several food and drink vendors, the community village, and activities like the cornhole and photo booths. This year’s Maha also offered an expanded selection of local beers.
“Nebraska has such a wonderful craft brewing scene, so we wanted to make sure we highlight that,” Grace said.
Several attendees described Saturday’s weather as “perfect” as temperatures peaked at 84 degrees in the afternoon and were expected to drop into the 70s in the evening.
Daniela Padilla, a 35-year-old from Omaha, said it was her second time dating Maha. She brought her daughter and said she enjoyed the family atmosphere.
“It was fun watching the bands and all the activities they put on,” she said. “Amazingly, there are a lot of things children are capable of doing.”
Heriberto Salinas Rivera, a 28-year-old from Omaha, said he was a fan of Beach House and was also excited to see PUP on Saturday.
While Maha is much smaller than other Midwestern festivals like Chicago’s Lollapalooza and Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Salinas Rivera said he was thrilled to have a local festival with a diverse musical lineup.
“It continues to grow and hopefully continues to grow,” he said.
Mia LaHood, a 23-year-old from Omaha, said she last attended Maha when Lizzo headlined in 2019, and was excited to see Beach House and Princess Nokia this year.
“I think they do a really good job of recruiting up-and-coming artists,” she said.
Pictures: Maha Party 2022