The Maha Festival; A Jubilant Celebration of Music

Every summer, the city of Omaha hosts the Maha Festival, an amazing event with live music and opportunities to form unforgettable memories.

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Reilly Healey

The crowd at Maha waits patiently and anxiously for the headliner of the event, Khruangbin.

Reilly Healey, Editor-in-Chief

Music is a force that brings people alive. The vibrations that flood the air grabs people by the soul and creates phenomenal things; an explosion of movements from uncontrollable dance outbreaks; a belting of emotions with expressive songs of sadness, happiness, and everything in between; a  sense of calm as your mind is soothed with lyrics sung from the heart. 

Luckily for Omaha citizens, we were given the opportunity to see this incredible force in action at the Maha Festival.

The Maha Festival is a non-profit organization that was created to celebrate music and is held every summer, with the exception of summer 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year it was held on July 31st at Aksarben Village. This event staged artists such as Japanese Breakfast, Thundercat, and, the headliner of the event, Khruangbin. This year, I had the pleasure of attending the Maha Festival with my lovely friend, senior Maddy Delos Reyes. 

Although most who were paying for Maha tickets were there for the memorable live music, the festival did not fail to be versatile in its offerings. Food trucks lined up in rows and took up a whole section of the festival, with a plethora of diverse cultural foods for your taste buds to pick through.

“The food trucks at Maha were delicious,” Delos Reyes said. “There was a great variety of food ranging from Mexican, New Orleanian, and American. I ordered chicken quesadillas and steak tacos, both of which were very delicious.”

Fortunately, for both Delos Reyes and I, this was not our first rodeo, as we both previously went to the 2019 Maha Festival. The line-up consisted of artists like Duckwrth, Beach Bunny, and pop sensation superstar, Lizzo. That pop-centered set of artists conjured up a different experience than the jazz-like artists of 2021’s line up.

“The music for the festival was, personally, not my favorite,” Delos Reyes said. “It did not compare to the 2019 artists and also created for a much less rowdy crowd. This year’s artists were most likely geared towards the older generation.”

This different environment and music selection was merely just a scratch on our fun-filled night of adventures. DeLos Reyes and I were engulfed in a crowd of music lovers alike, all dancing to the rhythm of the music in a formation that could only be done at a music festival. By the end of the night, we somehow worked our way to the front of the crowd and were so close to the musicians that you could see their sweat.

Music and the celebration of it is a powerful force that brings people alive and plants memories that will last a lifetime. And looking back at this year’s Maha Festival, it did just that. 

“Despite the music not being my favorite, the festival still fostered an unforgettable experience,” Delos Reyes said. “Being in such a vibrant  environment with friends is an experience  that I would not trade for anything.”