News about Maha Festival 2024

February 15, 2024

Maha Festival 2023. Photo by Ben Semisch.

Omaha’s premier nonprofit music festival, Maha, will not happen this year. Instead, organizers are taking 2024 to rework the festival’s operating model with plans to return in 2025. The annual event was set to celebrate its 16th year this summer in the renovated Heartland of America Park on Omaha’s The RiverFront. Maha organizers will now spend 2024 recalibrating and exploring options and opportunities — including national partnerships — with a plan to return strong in 2025.

Maha Festival’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to pause the festival for 2024, citing a need to rework Maha’s operating model combined with industry-wide increases in costs for talent, transportation, labor, security, and insurance. Overall festival production costs have increased by up to 50%, leading to the closure of music festivals around the globe, including in Memphis, Detroit, Missouri, and the UK.

“Our board did an intensive review of the festival model and forecasted resources and weighed that with the importance of Maha’s brand experience and its future sustainability and scalability,” said Maha Board President T.J. Twit. “We’re confident that taking this proactive step to recalibrate in 2024 will ensure Maha’s future vibrancy and long-term success.”

A volunteer-powered celebration of music and discovery, Maha Festival made a strong return following the pandemic, overcoming challenges to continue its mission of providing joyful, diverse music experiences. This resulted in record attendees and increased economic impact the past few years. The success of Maha in prior years was not enough to offset the increase in costs and workforce changes that led to the decision to pause in 2024.

“We’re so appreciative of the ongoing support of our many volunteers, sponsors, contributors, members, nonprofit partners and community leaders who have powered Maha Festival since its inception,” said Board President Twit. “In honor of them — and in honor of the hundreds of thousands of people who have spent their hard-earned money attending the festival in the past — we’re dedicated to reworking Maha into a sustainable festival experience for the long haul.”

Maha is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on bringing people together by curating and producing cultural experiences that positively impact the city of Omaha. Since 2009, Maha Festival has welcomed hundreds of music acts, dozens of speakers, and attendees from all 50 states, all fueled by a dedicated group of more than 800 amazing volunteers.