A Celebration of Celesbians
By Megan Wadding, April 2017 Issue.
Club Skirts presents The Dinah, an annual music festival and pool party event, will once again take over Palm Springs for in what is billed as the largest girl party in the world.
Marking its 27th year, the star-studded weekend will kick off at the close of Women’s History Month and promises a five-day celebration at various locations throughout Palm Springs, including host hotel Hilton Palm Springs.
Mariah Hanson, the event’s founder and producer, said she is excited for the musical talent that will be taking the stage at The Dinah this year.
“The Dinah has always been primarily a party, but we have added some stellar music offerings since that was the perfect complement,” Hanson said. “We have some amazing musical talent this year, a strong cross connection of the familiar, showcasing ground-breaking artists of the ’90s [and] a group of emerging artists, [of which] we think at least one has a shot of becoming the next big thing.”
Attendees can expect performances by Lady Cultura, Cece Peniston, Tish Hyman, Lizzo and Black Box – to name a few.
The weekend, which includes the White Party March 31, the Hollywood Party and the Dinah Comedy Show April 1, as well as numerous pool parties, celebrity meet and greets and water games, has become a desert oasis for women from around the world.
Numerous “celesbians” are always on-hand at The Dinah, and this is shaping up to be no different. According to Hanson, the stars expected to make appearances this year range from actors and reality television stars to filmmakers and screenwriters – both gay and straight.
Expected celebrity attendees include Jamie Babbit from Itty Bitty Titty Committee, Marlene Forte from “The Fosters,” Bridget McManus from Tello Films’ “Maybelle” and Liz Vassey from “CSI” and “Nikki and Nora” the web series.
“We have a lot of celebrities coming this year to do a meet and greets,” Hanson said. “Mindy Sterling from Austin Powers, Elizabeth Keener from ‘The L Word’ and many more. We’re excited to have a variety of artists joining us this year. Everyone is coming together to celebrate the community and honor our womanhood.”
Each year, The Dinah takes place the first weekend in April. This year, the fact that it begins just as Women’s History Month comes to a close, was a lucky coincidence, according to Hanson.
“It’s the perfect segue for us, since this year we are making a powerful statement about women empowerment,” Hanson said. “What we are doing differently this year is using The Dinah to make a wonderful political statement to the world that even when we take our breaks and enjoy life for five days, we are still ever-vigilant.”
This year, Hanson said the event will use its star power to try to help give back.
“Several us of are going to do a matching fundraising ask at The Dinah and give our attendees the opportunity to help us raise a lot of money for [The National Council of La Raza] and other watchdog groups,” Hanson said. “Since we need this more than ever, and The Dinah is in a position to help.”
Additionally, Hanson is expecting to see the largest attendance on record for The Dinah.
“We’re excited to have this many women coming this year, as it feels like an incredible opportunity to show the world our might and out dedication to a better America,” she said.
The single aspect of The Dinah experience Hanson said she is most looking forward to is everyone coming together to celebrate unity.
“I think the community needs a break from the madness,” Hanson said. “We experience [unity] when we are all together celebrating our lives, living out loud and being who we are, proudly and with a vision of a better tomorrow.”
Dinah Comedy Night
The annual Dinah comedy night will take place April 1 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs.
“We produce a comedy show every year as we try to offer a variety of events that appeal to all ages and demographics. We choose our comediennes very carefully,” said Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of The Dinah. “Our attendees can expect to laugh very hard for 90 minutes.”
This year, Erin Foley, Julie Goldman and Gina Yashere will be among the funny ladies taking the stage.
Echo Magazine caught up with Foley and Goldman to find out more about what attendees can expect from their upcoming shows at The Dinah and here's what they had to say.
Echo: With election season finally behind us and with the political scene as volatile as it is at the moment, do you plan to talk politics? What can we expect?
Goldman: 100 percent, I will talk about politics. I generally like to talk about stuff that makes me feel enraged. Sounds hilarious, doesn’t it?
Echo: Will you tailor your jokes at all for the event?
Goldman: I’ll probably speak to the pure unadulterated lesbianism going down. But for the most part, my act pretty much stays around the same. I will say, I think my act and my life is kind of like Dinah, so it should be a good fit.
Echo: How is performing at the Dinah different from performing at other venues?
Goldman: I think I’ve performed at Dinah maybe 3 or 4 times. What makes it different is that Dinah is a full-on lesbian spring break and the energy is wild and unique. Usually, clubs or theaters or other sorts of events are a little less drunk! Plus it's all mostly lesbians! Imagine the drama! It's incredible.
Echo: What should attendees expect of the show?
Goldman: The other comedians Gina Yashere and Erin Foley are incredible. I'm very excited to share the stage with them. They’re the pro of the pro’s and how often do you get to see three women, three lesbians in one show!? Only at Dinah.
Echo: What projects are you currently involved in?
Goldman: Currently I'm working on a new podcast called DUMB GAY POLITICS with Julie & Brandy. Brandy Howard, my creative partner and I, are taking on all things politics. We are basically watching the news as if were watching reality TV and comment on it.