The Dinah is back and is gearing up for a huge 30th anniversary celebration full of pool parties, concerts, games, dancing, and more.

The 5-day event is being held September 29 through October 3 in sunny Palm Springs, Californiaand thousands of women are expected to attend.

The Dinah bills itself as the “world’s largest all-girl music festival”. This year’s event will be filled Top Ten Billboard headliners, rising pop stars, and celebrities, all descending on Palm Springs for a weekend of fun.

Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of The Dinah, called the three decades of The Dinah a “herculean accomplishment” of which she is extremely proud.

Hanson credits the women who travel globally each year to attend with making the event a success for over three decades.

“None of it would be possible without our Dinah attendees who voyage from all over the world to take over Palm Springs and impart a sense of belonging, tolerance, acceptance and community,” she said.

Hanson, who came up with the idea for the Dinah back in the 1980’s, called being a part of the creation of the event “magical and inspiring” and said that her entire staff feels honored each and every year to be able present an event that has the ability to create such “powerful positive change”.

The Dinah initially began as a gathering of women who had made the trek to Palm Springs for the annual women’s golf tournament. It has now evolved into what is considered to be the largest gathering of lesbian in the world, and a sort of rite of passage.

“I’m very proud of what The Dinah has come to represent for our community - a unique opportunity to experience one of the most bonding, liberating and transforming festival ever in the spirit of sisterhood and community in a safe space, free of judgement. I’m profoundly moved to see that magic happen at The Dinah year after year,” Hanson said.

Looking into the next decade of The Dinah. Hanson said her goals would continue to be mostly the same.

“I bring together a powerful group of highly conscious women to produce this event. We all hold a space to create an incredible party and at the same time, create some healing in the world by allowing every conceivable type of womxn to come together and co-exist in the most magical of atmospheres,” said Hanson. 

Hanson said that we are “better together” and she thinks The Dinah is a good reminder of that, now more than ever.

“I think this year we are focusing on coming together safely and enjoying the treat of actually being together,” she added.

Due to the COVID pandemic, all events and festivals had been canceled throughout 2020, which in turn, had led to Dinah’s 30th anniversary celebration in April of 2020 being canceled. When Hanson was finally given the green light, she said was determined to book the Dinah weekend for as soon as possible, making this the first ever Dinah celebration to be held in the fall, rather than in the first week of April, when it traditionally has been held.

“Event producers clamored to grab the first available dates, which were fall dates,” explained Hanson. “I feel extremely blessed because both the Hilton and the [Palm Springs City Council] have been so supportive of The Dinah.”

Hanson added that she personally preferred the fall dates and is actually considering making it a permanent change.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary, Hanson said they had put together a wonderful talent line-up. She said the biggest thing to celebrate is that this year, is the fact that guests can actually be together in person at the shows.

The Black & White Ball will be held on for Friday night, October 1st. It has officially replaced the White Party, as the weekend’s big event.

“We wanted to expand on a historical party theme to include all colors,” Hanson said. “White is the absence of color, and black encompasses all colors so, metaphorically, it symbolizes what The Dinah has always stood for.”

Taking the stage is actress, singer, songwriter, performer and dancer, MK xyz, and Hanson said she could not be more excited for the show. 

“She embodies self-love and self-acceptance, and could not have found a better venue than The Dinah’s Black and White Ball to spread that message,” Hanson said.


Grammy-award winner Macy Gray will headline the Dinah Holiday Party on Saturday, October 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

“I think [Macy] is going to be amazing for several different reasons. She loves the LGBT community, and she hasn't been on tour in a year and a half so the energy of her performance will be palatable,” said Hanson. “We haven't been to a concert in as long an amount of time so we are ready to embrace the magic of music, live performances and each other.”

Kat Cunning | Photo: Lindsey Byrnes

Gray will be performing a mix of her old hits, as well as songs from her new upcoming album.

Other performers over the weekend include Kat Cunning, Cece Peniston, Yung Baby Tate, SWV, Rozzi, Swsh, and more.

The pandemic has created new challenges for The Dinah, which in the past has seen as many as 20,000 women attend from all over the world. In order to produce a safe event, all Dinah staff will undergo extensive COVID compliance training to ensure proper application of the regulations and restrictions, according to Hanson. All attendees, including the staff and talent, will need to provide proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test. In addition, masks will available for attendees at every Dinah participating venue and must be worn indoors. COVID tests will also be available at the Palm Springs airport every day.

“Our number one priority is to keep our customers safe,” said Hanson. “We are enforcing all Covid safety measures recommended by the CDC, the State of California and the City of Palm Springs.”

Hanson said that she believes that one thing we have all come to realise during the past year and a half, is that we cannot take community and connection for granted.

“COVID isolated us for nearly a year and showed us the importance of community building and coming together in good and bad times,” she said. “I was amazed to see how in the midst of this global pandemic our community found ways to connect with whatever safe means available. The creativity that was displayed was a heartwarming reminder of what the human spirit can endured and overcome when bonded together. That has always been The Dinah’s message and to see it happen throughout our community was simply magical.”

Hanson said she is “very excited” to finally be able to bring everyone together again, knowing how well-loved the weekend is to so many women around the world.

“I am in awe of how much The Dinah means to our community and this was never more apparent than during this pandemic,” said Hanson.

For more information, a full schedule of events, and to purchase tickets, please visit

Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

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I think it’s fair to say we all want that #fitlife, especially with Spring around the corner — as well as Gaypril on the way. Whether it’s pool season yet or not, everyone would choose to look fit over not looking fit, if they could have it with a snap of their fingers. OK, the vast majority of us would.

If you’ve met me, or have been reading my articles, you know that I live, sleep, eat and breathe fitness; it’s my heart and soul. That being said, I’m here to tell you that the concept of “fitness” is oftentimes tragically misunderstood.

Before you get too aggressive with your goal for pool season, let’s dive a bit deeper into what fitness means on the inside versus what it looks like on the outside, and common misconceptions around this concept.

1. Beware of the cultural pitfalls and misleading information around fitness.

Most of the bodies you see in the media are probably not real, they just look very convincing. As a trainer who also moonlights as a photographer and Photoshop wizard, I’m telling you that it is incredibly easy to alter pictures in materially misleading ways. Once you know the tricks of the trade, the imposters are easily spotted. But that’s not what this is about.

The point is: to the untrained eye, it can be devastatingly defeating to see such impossible standards. It seems as though the cultural pressure to look a certain way, to look perfect, has spread all the way from runway models to fitness novices with the help of smartphone apps.

The truth is that we fitness models look that cut, and that lean for only a couple days at a time. That’s it! In many cases, months or even close to a year of training, dieting and programming all go into looking like that for ONE day. Let that sink in for a second. Day to day, I am less cut, less tan and much flatter muscularly than what you see in some of my pictures. That’s just the nature of the beast. So, when you have a bad day on the scale, in the mirror or in any other scenario, remember that we’re all human and that the most legitimate photos you’re comparing yourself against were from someone’s very best day. That should help to keep things in perspective.

2. Most people want the results, without actually doing the work.

Fitness is not six pack abs, it’s not superficial, it is not temporary and it’s not an isolated phase in your life. Further, fitness is not something you do for someone else, do to spite someone else or even to impress someone else.

Fitness is confidence, toughness, dedication, coordination, power, balance, speed, strength (both literally and figuratively) and persistence in the face of all obstacles. This includes control over your attitude, your mood, your sleep, your schedule, your diet and other aspects of your life. This means getting that workout in when you least feel like it.

It’s not easy, and it’s definitely a grind that has good and bad days. You must show up and keep working on the days you’re tired, stressed, rushed, defeated, doubtful, afraid and so on. The days you actually have to overcome something instead of just checking your workout off your to-do list are the days you have the greatest opportunity to really make progress, push your body and see the most improvement.

3. Fitness is really an internal mindset. The external physique is the fringe benefit.

I’ve said this time and time again, and it might sound strange coming from such an aesthetic-focused trainer, but you are not your body. Your body is a tool, it’s a means to an end, to express your internal mindset, belief system, discipline and dedication to your workout program. Your physique will come and go. Your strength will come and go. Your abilities will wax and wane depending on what you’re training for at the time.

The outside will, and should, be always changing, but the inside is what we’re really after here. Good trainers want to train you to believe in yourself when sh*t gets hard. We want to train you to be resilient in the face of injury, obstacles and other setbacks. We want you to set ambitious goals and shoot for the moon because you can get there with smart programming and relentless will (do yourself a favor and ditch the crash diets and the photo editing software).

So, as you make your spring preparations for swimsuit season, try focusing on developing a sterling, unshakeable internal character and the muscles will come along the way, this I promise you.

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