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Interview with Mariah Hanson

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Divine Magazine is thrilled to welcome Mariah Hanson to the blog. Welcome Mariah!

Mariah is one of those people who simply don’t know the meaning of ‘slow down and stop’. She is constantly on the go, innovating and influencing the direction of the LGBTQ world, planning one event after another and becoming a social and media force to be reckoned with.

Her achievements to date are astounding. In 1991 she created the world famous Dinah Shore Event, ‘The Dinah’s as its fondly known and has taken it from its sold out beginning to become one of the most sought after and recognised lesbian event ever.  In fact, The Dinah is considered to be the largest lesbian event in the world. Quite some accolade for her already many feathered cap.

Mariah has received various awards in her quest to make an even bigger mark in the LGBTQ community. Among them are receiving the coveted key to the Palm Springs city, the nationally renowned Athena Award, a Legacy Award by Palm Springs Pride and a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Coachella Valley LGBT Community Centre. She’s also receiving an Achievement Award with Lily Tomlin in 2015.

Mariah’s ability to pick out popular acts for the The Dinah’s is legendary. Well known groups like The Pussycat Dolls have featured, leaving the Black Eyed Pea’s tour they were on to play at The Dinah’s. Mariah also was shrewd enough to recognise the talent of Ke$ha as her headline in 2010, evidence that she can indeed pick out the big acts. Of course, she’s said that some acts do say ‘No’ to her when she asks them to perform, and that people might be surprised at that fact.

One of the passions Mariah brings to her whole outlook on life is her love and support for the community. She believes in giving back what she received and is a vocal advocate of equal rights, various lesbian film projects and events.

Her advice to potential party goers to The Dinah event?  Get lots of rest and drink lots of water. Have as much fun as you possibly can. Create new memories and even fall in love. Be open hearted and open minded. Above all- enjoy yourself. It’s a fantastic experience.

 

The Dinah is celebrating its 25th Anniversary: What was the biggest challenge you faced when you started back in 1990?

The biggest challenge at the beginning was to convince the hotels and the city of Palm Springs that The Dinah was here to stay. My goal was really to make Palm Springs its permanent home. I’m beyond thrilled to see that Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend has now evolved into one of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley’s largest tourism boosters and undisputed biggest lesbian event of its kind in the world.

I strongly believe that the natural symbiosis The Dinah and the City of Palm Springs share has continuously been a match made in heaven. Today, more than a tradition, The Dinah has become a Palm Springs institution and a staple events sharing the spotlight with the likes of the Coachella Music Festival, Stagecoach, The Palm Springs International Film Festival and LPGA golf tournaments, to name a few.

We’re proud to be one of the early pioneers!

What do you attribute the massive success of the Dinah to?

I invest so much back into the event. My entertainment budget alone is well into the six figures. I am committed to producing events that are beyond what anyone else in the country at my level is doing: straight or gay. Our community is worth it.  We deserve to be spoiled and that’s what I try to do — spoil our guests!   It’s part of our culture to celebrate our lives through dance and music and I want to provide the best.

What are you the most proud of in regards to The Dinah?

My staff. They are about as amazing as a staff gets.   I am so blessed to work with exceptional women, from my top brass to those women who fly across the country to work the trenches of the weekend — ticket taking, handling will call, etc — they sense, and rightly so, that they are apart of something that is so much greater than the sum of its parts and creates such joy for women who are coming from all ends of the earth to experience The Dinah.  I am honored to work alongside such incredible women.  Apart from that, I also have the best customers in the world.  I know that sounds mushy, but when you go to the event and see all the amazing energy coming together with such unity in an unabashed effort to simply celebrate our lives together, you’ll see why I say that. Magic happens there.

What can Dinah-goers look forward to this year?

First of all we’re turning 25, so attendees can expect a HUGE celebration – we’re taking the event to a new zenith!

This is the Ultimate MUST SEE, MUST EXPERIENCE Dinah EVER!  The non-stop action, the house-packed crazy wild Pool Parties, the sexiest Go-Go dancers, the best DJs, the spectacular entertainment, the celebrities, plus the hottest girls in the world, we got it all!

Trust me, it’s not just going to be another mind-blowing, spectacular year, it will be the best Dinah I have ever produced, unlike anything you’ve seen yet!

What will be new or special?

We’ve spent 25 years showcasing some of music’s hottest female talents, as well as featuring music’s next big things, and this year will be no exception. To celebrate the 25th anniversary we pulled out all the stops, and we’re proud to present headliners Meghan Trainor and Christina Perri, music’s ‘IT’ girls Bebe Rexha and Ivy Levan, among others on the Dinah stage this year. To really encompass how Dinah brings women together from all places, new this year we focused on bringing in DJs from across the country to make sure everyone gets a little bit of something. You can expect to hear music from DJs coming from LA, New York, and Miami who take their beats all over the world.

What is extraordinary about the Dinah Shore?

The Dinah has become a place where women from all over the world are able to come together for one week a year and enjoy being themselves. The feeling that the event creates is indescribable – there are no judgements or negativity, just freedom of expression, love and good times!

It’s all about great vibes, hot sun, world-class pool parties, bikinis, star-studded night parties, the best musical entertainers, and thousands of women from all over the world. How can it not be extraordinary?

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