The Dinah is just around the corner which means that founder and events promoter extraordinaire Mariah Hanson is just a tiny bit busy working out whether Natasha Bedingfield is a “I’ll take any M&Ms” type of girl or more of a “I only want half chewed blue ones” one, if Dev and The Cataracs really do need a G6 jet plane and whether Fernanda Rocha has enough room to shake her booty.
However as you all know when Queeried wants something we tend to stomp our feet till we get it, so after jumping up and down and throwing all our toys out of the pram Mariah finally gave in and agreed to give us a little interview (so okay we put her in a locked room and said we wouldn’t feed her for five days if she didn’t..) which we now present to you lovely reader
Which has been your best Dinah to date? What makes it stand out for you?
That’s a tough question cause they all are remarkable in one way or another. I think the most memorable Dinah was Katy Perry and Lady Gaga on a double bill. My personal favorite was Salt and Pepa. The concert was amazing and they were a delight to work with. True professionals.
What would your dream line up for the ultimate Dinah be?
Pink is always on top of my list and I have come close to booking her but it falls through every time. However, I do plan on booking my dream line up so I think I’ll keep that under wraps until I do …
You host lesbian events in LA throughout the year. What is the thing about the Dinah that keeps you doing it year after year? Do you see yourself ever handing over the reins to someone else?
It’s my job. I am lucky to have a job I feel passionate about but like everyone, I have to get up every day and go to work. I just happen to love what I do and find that each year my team and I come up with ideas that keep it fresh not only for my customers but for us. The joy the event brings to the attendees keeps me going. It’s amazing to see. I am sure at one point I will hand over the reins but it’s not any time soon …. I still love the party!
How important is it that The Dinah has a social / political element to it alongside all the fun? What do you have planned for this year?
I think it’s critical that an event of this stature have a message. This year we have aligned with the “Love is Louder” campaign launched by actress Brittany Snow, MTV and the JED Foundation to bring awareness to our customers; and we have aligned with The Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles, a favorite charity of mine because they act as a prototype for all centers across the country. They act as consultants with other start up LGBT Centers. I feel like by helping them, I am helping all centers. It’s headed by Lorrie Jean. She is an idol of mine.
The Dinah is seen as a predominantly lesbian event. Do you see that evolving over time to something that is less gender specific and at some point even less based on sexuality?
I think it’s important that my event reflect our community and as our community changes, so shall we. Music is an important part of The Dinah and as such the event is becoming recognized as an important music festival for emerging artists. That is exciting for me as it shows the strength of the lesbian community in affecting music careers. We are trendsetters. I love that.
The mere mention of the word “gay” and “lesbian” still has many people and businesses going all pale and wobbly and into full on excuse mode why suddenly something doesn’t seem like such a good idea anymore. What, if any, hurdles and barriers have you come up against and do you think it’s improving?
I think it is improving. It appears to me that the world is changing quickly. Things happen gradually and then suddenly to paraphrase Hemingway. We are experiencing a major civil rights shift in this lifetime. It’s a good time to be alive. I think companies are responding to the changing times. It’s not all going to happen at once, but it will have a domino effect eventually. I look forward to that time.
With The Dinah turning 21 this year we’re expecting 2011 to be one huge celebration. What part are you most looking forward to?
Oh one can expect crazy antics all weekend. I think the line up this year is really good. I think the girls will look back on this Dinah and be amazed that they saw all these artists on one bill. We have several very strong contenders for the next big thing.
And finally you’re created an amazing event with The Dinah. What other event do you wish that you’d been the one behind?
I’m happy being behind The Dinah. That’s enough.