- July 28-29 at Stinson Park Omaha
- Friday 4-11 p.m. Saturday 2-11 p.m.
- Tickets: General admission — Friday $50, Saturday $60. Two-day pass $100. VIP — Friday $130, Saturday $160. Two-day VIP pass $240. Tickets available at tixr.com
- August 11-12 at Falconwood Park
- Friday 4 p.m. start. Saturday 1 p.m. start.
- Tickets: General admission – Friday & Saturday $89. Two-day general admission — $169. VIP – Friday & Saturday $249. Two-day VIP $449.
Omaha’s two big music festivals, Maha and Outlandia, have announced their lineups for this summer, and Omaha’s musical legacy and present will play a large part in both. April may seem too early to begin thinking about festivals, but we are only weeks away from Noisefest at Project Project on May 12 and the Omaha Freedom Festival on June 17. Later this summer, we will see festivals that rely heavily on area artists, such as Farnam Festival, In The Market For Blues, Petfest, and more, and those will be covered here as more information becomes available.
Maha will hold its 18th annual festival on July 28-29 at Stinson Park. Maha announced its lineup in February, with featured acts including Big Thief, Turnstile, Alvvays and Peach Pit. Omaha artists have always played a part in Maha’s vision. In the early years of the festival, when it was held at Lewis & Clark Landing, there was a local stage for such bands as Little Brazil, It’s True, and Satchel Grande. After its move to Stinson Park in Year 3, the permanent stage at the park became the local stage, and then over the years, area bands would be integrated among the national acts on the main stage or that side stage. Omaha-based bands The Faint, Cursive and Desaparecidos have played marquee slots at the festival over the years.
This year’s area artist lineup is made up of Icky Blossoms, BIB, M34N STR33T, Garst, Hakim and Ebba Rose. Icky Blossoms will be reuniting for the Maha stage in their first performance in almost a decade. The trio — Derek Pressnall, Nik Fackler, and Sarah Bohling — put out albums on Saddle Creek Records in 2012 and 2015. The band performed on the Maha stage in 2012 and 2014, making it the only three-time music performer at the festival. Icky Blossoms perform high-energy, dark electronic dance music and are known for the songs “Babes” and “Sex To The Devil,” which used to get packed venues jumping and sweaty.
The Saddle Creek Records legacy will play a part in Outlandia and Maha this year. Maha has current Saddle Creek artist Black Belt Eagle Scout on the lineup, and headliner Big Thief put out its debut album on the label. Outlandia will find three bands on its lineup with ties to the label.
BIB is an Omaha-based, noise punk band that has been making waves far beyond the borders of our city. The band has been written about in Stereogum and has performed with many well-known bands in the hardcore genre. The band recently won Outstanding Punk at the 2023 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards and will be touring Europe in May. BIB released its debut album, “Delux,” in 2020. Omaha hip-hop act M34N STR33T will be making its second appearance at Maha. The band performed in 2014 and is riding a fresh buzz after the release last year of the duo’s third album, “BESOS.” M34N STR33T is made up of emcee Conny Franko and producer Haunted Gauntlet. M34N STR33T has won Outstanding Hip-Hop and Artist of the Year at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards.
Garst is a popular rock band in Omaha that packs venues with loyal fans who enjoy their high energy and fun live performances. The band released its debut EP, “Temet Nosce,” in 2018 and followed it with the “Phases” EP in 2019. They just announced a show at Slowdown on May 12 that will serve as the release event for the debut of their self-titled album. Hakim is a Nebraska rapper who likes to say he is from the “Corn Coast.” The full-length album “The Magnificent Obsession” came out in 2020, and a six-song EP entitled “Planet Drift” was released online on March 19. Ebba Rose is the new project from Erin Mitchel that has turned into a full-fledged band, covering many styles of music, from pop to soul to jazz and blues. A piano-based live recording of the song “All I Wanted” has been making the rounds on social media and garnering praise.
The Outlandia Music Festival is in its second year and will take place at Falconwood Park on Aug. 11-12. This year’s headliners include Modest Mouse, Jimmy Eat World, the Manchester Orchestra and Gregory Alan Isakov. The festival will feature some of Omaha’s heavy hitters from the past, including The Faint, Criteria and The Good Life. Omaha’s dreamy rock band, Minne Lussa, will also perform. It was almost a given that The Faint would perform at one of the two festivals in Omaha after announcing their first performance in four years would take place at the Just Like Heaven Festival in Pasadena, California, on May 13. The band also announced shows with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in Texas. The Faint are one of the most requested bands to play the stages of Omaha, and they will be a big draw at the sophomore event.
The appeal of Outlandia Music increases considerably when you pair it with two other big-name artists from the city’s past. The Good Life started as a solo project for Tim Kasher of Cursive and then became its own band with five critically acclaimed albums. The Good Life is Kasher, Roger Lewis, Stefanie Drootin and Ryan Fox, and it’s believed they haven’t played a show since 2016 after the release of the “Everybody’s Coming Down” album in 2015. The band had scheduled some shows for 2020, but it’s not clear any took place due to the pandemic.
The third in this trilogy of Omaha indie rock bands from the heyday is Criteria, which features Steve Pederson, A.J. Mogis, Aaron Druery and Mike Sweeny. The band has released three full-length albums: two on Saddle Creek Records and 2020’s “Years” on Cursive’s 15 Passengers label. The band has performed a couple of shows in recent years in Omaha, but they were few and far between. To see these three bands, which haven’t graced the stages of Omaha or anywhere in recent years, together on the same weekend will have a lot of area music fans excited.