Palm Springs, CA – Defying all expectations, The Dinah 2023 was exactly like nothing else.

“I can’t believe that was real,” commented first time Dinah goer Vanessa on Instagram.

Thousands of queer women and gender-diverse individuals from all over the world made the pilgrimage to the Margaritaville Hotel in Palm Springs California this weekend for a chance to be part of this once a year monumental MUST SEE – MUST BE SEEN AT event.

For the past 32 years, Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of The Dinah, has continuously managed to elicit an authentic expression of our LGBTQ+ community perfectly capturing the alchemy and enduring beauty of our individuality and diversity, and set The Dinah as the quintessential rite of passage for queer women.

An intimate experience, The Dinah 2023 was a giant celebration of never-seen-before proportions. And perhaps no one felt this exhilarating celebratory spirit than non-binary Australian musician and drummer, G. Flip who celebrated their 30th birthday at the Dinah’s Friday Pool party. Following an electrifying performance, their wife and star of “Selling Sunset” Chrishell Stause joined Hanson on stage to surprise the singer with a custom-made pussycat themed cake as the crowd broke into a spontaneous rendition of Happy Birthday.

Long time Dinah resident host and cancer survivor, Rose Garcia, was also saluted on stage on Sunday afternoon for her inspiring, courageous and heroic battle over cancer. An emotional Garcia jumped on the opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of early checkup for early detection.

If the crowd was principally made of Dinah virgins this year again, the talent, composed of a noticeably predominant queer roster, shared one thing in common: the ability to finally cross off the iconic bucket list concert venue from their list.

From G. Flip, Phem, Xana, Keeana Kee, Black Box to Doechii and Princess Nokia, and this year’s emerging artist winners, Oomy Oomy and Mariah Counts, performing at The Dinah marked not only a benchmark but most importantly a dream come true.

“When you get THE call that The Dinah wants you to play, without knowing what the offer is, what is your set time is, I said YES, absolutely,” gushed G. Flip during a pre-Dinah interview with Advocate Now who confessed The Dinah is seen as something of a ‘Holy Grail’ for queer artists.

“I’m on the plane crying happy tears. It was a true full circle moment that fulfilled my inner child. Thank you so so much [The Dinah] 💋” posted Princess Nokia.

The natural symbiosis between the audience and the performers is very unique to The Dinah – a special tension that captivates, inspires and bounds us all together. It’s unlike anything else and the reason why 90s hitmaking machine Black Box & fast rising provocative rapper Doechii were obsessively eager to come back & play the festival for the second time.

“OMG you have no idea, I have been counting the days to this,” said Doechii in one of her IG stories.

The Dinah’s red carpet once again delivered some of the most iconic and showstopping looks. Princess Nokia was bold and risqué personified sporting a crop top tank top reading “J’Adore Dykes,” and boxer shorts which she quickly removed to unleash a grandpa style fashionable underwear while striking a pose with Hanson and her partner Maureen Vanderpool.

The action-packed weekend saw the birth of a new game with the introduction of The Dinah Scavenger Hunt and the return of the highly entertaining Celebrity Dodgeball Competition that cranked the fun volume up a few notches. Hosted by Mikey Koffman of The Real L Word and Lacey Stone of “Revenge Body by Khloé Kardashian”, dodgeball impressively broke attendance record with a legion of queer women lining up for a chance to showcase their lean, mean, ball dodging machine skills, and bring home the trophy!

It’s clear Hanson’s Dinah is not going anywhere!

With the record number of anti-LGBTQ bills that have been introduced this year in state legislatures across the country, The Dinah – the longest running music festival and party for queer women – reminds us of the importance of preserving queer spaces.

While there has been a refreshing movement in recent years to save the remaining few lesbian bars across the country with Dinah alumnus like Lea Delaria who executive-produced the short film “The Lesbian Bar Project” and pop phenomenon FLETCHER who brought back (for the second year this year) her wildly popular “Meet Her at The Bar: Pride Month Experience”, queer places are vanishing at an alarming pace.

Mariah Hanson’s contribution to the LGBTQ+ community is even more impressive and significant as she has been providing the community a safe space to come together for more than three decades.

Perhaps Rory Wilson, one of The Dinah security guards, said it best in tweet:

“Second year working w/Centurion at The Dinah in Palm Springs and again one of the top events I’ve ever done…just the best people…no drama…NO fights… kind of the best example of how people should be.”

What the Dinah offers is a glimpse of how perfect the world would be if we could all be free to authentically express our individuality and simultaneously honor our differences, uniqueness, and common interests.

“A huge thank you to all of you who attended The Dinah this year. Your smiles, positive attitude and love made this event pure magic. It’s such a special gift to see our community in all its diversity come together and be celebrated so joyfully and inclusively. The real gem to be found at The Dinah is you!” wrote Mariah Hanson in a heartfelt grateful IG post.

There’s community and there’s family. The Dinah is a love letter to both.