FYI

About Maha

WHAT IS MAHA?

Maha began as a single-day music festival back in 2009. As a nonprofit, it’s always pushed beyond what is normally thought of for a festival — devoting an entire section to fellow nonprofits at the Maha Community Village every year is just one differentiator. In 2018, Maha joined forces with the well-established Big Omaha conference, providing a cohesive experience reflective of the culture and creativity percolating within the region. To date, the events have attracted thousands of attendees from all 50 states.

WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY VILLAGE?

A vital part of the Maha experience since 2012, the Community Village features nearly two dozen partner nonprofit organizations each year. In the “village,” each organization offers a ridiculously fun, entertaining, and educational activity for attendees of all ages. It’s an opportunity to connect with the nonprofits doing great work in the region. We’re proud to share the stage.

WHAT IS THE MAHA ASSOCIATION WITH MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS?

Since 2015, we’ve worked with our partner organization, The Kim Foundation, to increase awareness of mental health issues and help reduce the stigma surrounding this issue so common among our audience. By continuing the conversation before, during, and after Maha events — and linking to useful resources from our partners — we hope to shine light on these important facts. Beyond that, we believe these resources can help save lives. You can read more on The Kim Foundation website, their project 13Minutes.org, and the Maha Medium channel.

WHAT ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY AT MAHA AND BIG OMAHA?

Thanks to our sponsor and partner in this effort, HDR, Inc., we’re working with Hillside Solutions to continue to reduce waste at Maha Music Festival. Big Omaha is a zero-waste event.

Volunteering

WHAT DOES A VOLUNTEER AT MAHA OR BIG OMAHA DO?

What don’t they do?! Seriously, these events have been powered by volunteers since the start, and we couldn’t do it without you. Want to help set up or tear down? Interested in jobs like Thirst Quencher, Shopping Specialist, and Welcome Crew? We’ve got a spot with your name on it.

WHAT ARE THE VOLUNTEER PERKS?

Glad you asked. When you help out during a four- to seven-hour shift, you earn free admittance to the event you’re volunteering at. You also get a limited-run volunteer T-shirt, and legit bragging rights.

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

It takes less than five minutes, all online. Registration opens annually in April for the August events. There may be other opportunities available throughout the year, too. Check GET INVOLVED for the latest news. Please contact volunteer@mahamusicfestival.com with additional questions.

WHY DO YOU TAKE A DEPOSIT WHEN I SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER?

If you’re new to volunteering with us, we may ask for a credit card deposit to hold your spot. This is a mega operation, and every shift is important! The deposit helps make sure everyone comes to their shift and fellow volunteers aren’t left hanging when it’s their turn to go enjoy the show. We guarantee the deposit will be returned after you complete your shift and check out at Volunteer Headquarters.

WHAT'S THE MAHA STREET TEAM ALL ABOUT?

If you’ve been to Omaha, you’ve probably seen the work of the street team — these coolest of the cool spend time hanging posters, passing out flyers, and talking about Maha on social media. If you’re interested in earning tickets and swag in exchange for helping get the good word out, get in touch at street@mahamusicfestival.com.

Attending Maha Music Festival

WHAT'S THE MAHA CODE OF CONDUCT?

Let’s be good to each other. We’re all friends here and want everyone to have an enjoyable experience. Keep these guidelines in mind so we can keep the good vibes flowing.

  • Conduct yourself well. Be kind and respectful with both your words and actions.
  • Do not interfere with a guest’s ability to have a good time. We have a zero tolerance policy toward harassment. Fighting, threatening words, or unwanted advances will result in expulsion from the park without a refund.
  • Irresponsible consumption of alcoholic beverages or the facilitation of underage drinking is prohibited. Intoxicated belligerence or other signs of impairment related to substance abuse within the park will result in expulsion without a refund.
  • Maha would not be possible without our volunteers’ time and dedication to the event. We ask you to remember that the individuals so kindly scanning your ticket, pouring your drink, and keeping the park clean are here on their own time to ensure that everyone has an amazing experience. Patience, “thank yous,” and high-fives go a long way in contributing to your enjoyment!
  • We appreciate your cooperation in respecting fellow attendees by smoking in designated areas only.

We are 100% committed not only to hosting a top-notch festival, but ensuring that Maha is a safe and enjoyable space for all who attend. Thank you for your support, and for doing your part to make this a successful experience for everyone!

WHAT'S THE MAHA SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY?

Prepared in partnership with the Women’s Fund of Omaha.

Maha Music Festival is a welcoming summer festival and community. As a festival attendee, you play an active role in creating an enjoyable and accepting environment for fellow attendees, including being an active bystander and speaking out when you see unacceptable behavior.

The Maha Music Festival has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination of any kind, including but not limited to: race, color, national origin, citizenship status, pregnancy, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, body size, religion and disability status.

Offensive behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Language that is verbally abusive, intimidating or threatening
  • Stalking behavior
  • Non-consensual touching, groping or sexual assault
  • Unwanted sexual remarks or jokes
  • Racial or ethnic slurs, demeaning comments on gender or sexual orientation (including perceived orientation or gender identity)
  • Harassing or non-consensual photography or recording and the distribution thereof
  • Physical acts of intimidation, assault or battery

What does consensual mean? When permission is freely given and agreed to on an ongoing basis throughout interaction. In order to be consensual, both parties must be able to freely consent, which cannot occur if one party is incapacitated or severely intoxicated, or if there is a power dynamic between the two parties.

Any individual or groups found in violation of this policy may be removed from the festival and banned from re-entering.

If you feel you’ve been harassed or feel unsafe, please visit the Nebraska Medicine First Aid tent, or get the attention of a festival staff member or member of the security team immediately. Festival staff members are identifiable by shirts marked “SECURITY” and Maha purple volunteer shirts. You can also call the Maha Dedicated Safety Hotline at 402-982-8200.

WHERE TO FIND DAY OF SHOW UPDATES?

For the most recent updates on August 17–18, follow us on Twitter @MahaFestival or on Facebook.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE'S BAD WEATHER?

Maha will continue rain or shine — no refunds. The show must go on!

CAN I GET A REFUND?

All ticket sales are final. Spread the love and give your friends an incredible summer experience. They’ll owe you!

ARE KIDS ALLOWED?

All ages are welcome and children ages 10 and under do not need a ticket as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult. Maha offers entertainment for the whole family, but we cannot guarantee that the music will be suitable for all ages. Things might get a bit rowdy up front, and as a general rule, the area directly in front of the stage is rarely kid-friendly. However, there’s plenty of space for everyone in much calmer areas throughout the park.

CAN I RE-ENTER THE FESTIVAL ONCE I LEAVE?

Arrive at any time! You may leave as many times as you’d like BEFORE 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, and come back ANY TIME. If you leave AFTER 7:00 pm, you will not be allowed to re-enter the festival without purchasing a new ticket at the day-of price.

VIP ticket holders may leave and re-enter at any time.

ABOUT SAFETY & SECURITY

Our primary goal is to create a safe and secure environment for all attendees. Everybody entering the festival site will be subject to search. You will pass through a hand wand metal detector upon entry. Event security and police officers will be located throughout the grounds for the entire duration of the event.

If you are experiencing any problems whatsoever:
Locate and notify festival security. You can also call the Maha Dedicated Safety Hotline at 402-982-8200.
If medical care is needed, g
o to the First Aid tent.
No matter where you are, a 
Maha volunteer is not far away — they can help get you to appropriate personnel.

To report a non-urgent safety issue, email safety@mahamusicfestival.com. 

IN CASE OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY

Certified doctors and nurses from Nebraska Medicine will be on-site to respond to medical needs, equipped with band-aids, Ibuprofen and more. If you need assistance, go to the Nebraska Medicine First Aid tent located at the intersection of 67th and Mercy Streets. Medics at Home will be our on-site ambulance provider and Nebraska Medicine EMTs are on-site at 67th and Mercy to handle emergencies, and will also provide a cooling mister.

IS MAHA ACCESSIBLE?

If you have specific accessibility needs, please contact info@mahamusicfestival.com with questions or to coordinate specific arrangements. Stinson Park is handicap accessible and we will work to accommodate a variety of needs. Please visit the Volunteer Headquarters located near the festival entrance to be directed to dedicated viewing areas upon arrival.

IS THERE A SPOT FOR NURSING MOTHERS?

Yes, there is a nursing mothers area adjacent to the Nurture Tent.

HELP, I NEED THE LOST AND FOUND.

If you lose or find an item on festival grounds, visit our Volunteer Headquarters located directly outside the festival entrance/exit to report or turn in a missing item. Or, email lost@mahamusicfestival.com.

HOW DO I BUY ALCOHOL?

Please note all attendees over 21 must present a valid ID and receive a wristband before purchasing alcohol. Drinks are purchased with Maha Money (not cash). The sale of alcohol ends nightly at 11 p.m. 

WHAT ARE THE ACCEPTED METHODS OF PAYMENT?

Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express are accepted at the merchandise tent and the Maha Money tent, where you can purchase Maha Money (good for drinks and Maha-specific merchandise). Our food and retail vendors accept various forms of payment. ATMs will be on site. We recommend utilizing cash as the fastest, most convenient means of exchange at Maha!

CAN I SCAN MY TICKET FROM MY PHONE?

We are able to scan tickets from your phone, but please be sure your screen “brightness” is turned all the way up when you enter/exit the gates.

IS THERE FREE PHONE CHARGING?

A FREE phone charging station is on-site and staffed with friendly volunteers to keep you juiced so you can tweet, snap, and share the fun all day long at #Maha10.

WHAT'S THE SMOKING POLICY?

Smoking on festival grounds is not allowed outside the designated cigarette smoking area in the southwest corner of the park. Attendees found smoking outside of the non-designated area may be asked to leave.

WHERE DO I FIND WATER?

Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day — we insist! Fill up at the FREE water station sponsored by our friends at First National Bank. Empty water bottles and factory sealed water bottles are also allowed in the park.

WHAT TO BRING TO THE PARK

  • Lawn Chairs (must be positioned outside of the chair-free zone)
  • Blankets
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hats/visors
  • Factory-sealed water bottles
  • Empty water bottles — FREE refills at the First National Bank station located in the park!

NOT ALLOWED IN THE PARK

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Illegal substances
  • Hard-sided coolers (soft-sided are OK)
  • Outside food or beverage (aside from factory-sealed water)
  • Pets (except for ADA Certified Service animals)
  • Umbrellas (ponchos are cool)
  • Camping tents
  • Large or framed backpacks
  • Drones
  • Instruments
  • Laser Pointers
  • Audio recording equipment
  • Roller skates, skateboards, scooters, bicycles (though there is a monitored bike parking area just outside of the park)
  • Professional photography equipment including cameras with interchangeable lenses and SLRs

WHAT'S YOUR CAMERA POLICY?

Small or disposable cameras are allowed. Professional cameras are NOT allowed. If it has a detachable lens, it’s a no-go. Video and audio recording are NOT allowed. Maha security makes the final call on what is and isn’t allowed in the park. Pro-tip: photos without flash typically turn out better.

WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE IN OMAHA?

The average high temperature in Omaha in August is 85 degrees with light humidity and light winds. We recommend you bring sunblock, even if it’s a little overcast early in the day. Midwest weather is known for its quick shifts. 

WHAT IF I WANT TO BIKE TO MAHA?

Do it! Our partner Mode Shift Omaha is offering a special monitored bike parking area. There is also an on-site Fix-It Tent to take care of necessary tune-ups like a flat tire. 

WHERE'S THE CAB & RIDESHARE PICKUP/DROP OFF ZONE?

When utilizing cab service and/or rideshares like Uber and Lyft to get to and from Maha, please direct drivers to pick up and drop off at the corner of 67th and Shirley Streets (just north of Stinson Park). All cabs and rideshares will be directed to that pick-up point. Get directions.

WHERE DO I PARK?

Plenty of FREE parking is available in any one of Aksarben Village’s three parking garages.

The first floor of the parking garage off of 64th Ave and the Pacific Life parking garage have handicap parking on the first floors.

WHERE SHOULD I STAY?

Omaha is a very friendly town. You can probably find someone willing to share a floor with you. If you’d prefer more private accommodations, Maha has negotiated special “Maha Rates” with:

Aksarben Marriott (just a few steps from the festival)
Holiday Inn Express (3.9 miles from the festival)
Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Omaha (1.2 miles from the festival)

Book ’em soon to secure these special rates!

Attending Big Omaha

CONFERENCE UPDATES

For the most recent updates on August 16–17, follow us on Twitter @BigOmaha or on Facebook. Don’t forget to use #BigOmaha!

WHAT'S THE BIG OMAHA CODE OF CONDUCT?

To promote this spirit of inclusivity, we ask that our staff, speakers, attendees, and volunteers follow a few basic principles at our conference — online, at the venue, and around the event. These include but are not limited to:

  • Be welcoming, friendly, and patient.
  • Be considerate. Your decisions will affect others. Whether listening to a keynote, eating lunch, or attending a party, your actions will have consequences. You should take those consequences into account when making decisions.
  • Be respectful. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into aggression towards another. Give yourself grace if you feel frustrated with another attendee or with yourself (because conferences can be long and tiresome in the midst of all that you are learning and all the people you are meeting).
  • Be mindful of vocabulary. Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Be kind to others, and do not insult or put down another person. Thoughtfulness often means reevaluating what we consider permissible.

HOW DO I REPORT INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR?

Big Omaha is meant to be a safe, inclusive space. That includes the venue, the parties, and all of our online realms. Please approach a staff member or trained volunteer if you’ve experienced anything less than that. In return, we promise to take all harassment reports seriously, to respect your privacy, and to remove the source of harassment. This begins with a warning to the offender, followed by physically removing them from the area if harassment continues.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE ZERO WASTE INITIATIVE?

Big Omaha is a zero waste event. You’ll notice compost and other recycling bins located throughout the conference. You can help by avoiding bringing excess landfill materials into the conference. With food and drinks on site, and an exclusive water bottle to take home, you’ll have all you need for a great day!

IS THERE A NURSING MOTHERS ROOM?

Yes, on site at the Omaha Design Center.

WHAT IF I HAVE DIETARY RESTRICTIONS?

We’ve got you covered! Just get in touch at info@mahamusicfestival.com to let us know what you need. If you already indicated your dietary needs at the time of registration, you do not need to reach out again.

HOW DO I CHECK IN?

You have two options: check in at the official Opening Party at KANEKO from 7-9 p.m. on August 16, or at 8 a.m. on August 17 at the Omaha Design Center. Please note: while the first speaker takes the stage at 9 a.m., conference programming is in full swing starting at 8, so please allow ample time and take advantage of the artisan breakfast!

When you check in, you’ll receive your conference badge, your Friday night ticket to Maha Music Festival (which is also the Big Omaha after party) and we’ll also send you on your way with some Maha Money for drinks at the festival.

WHERE DO I PARK?

The Omaha Design Center has ample parking on site as well as nearby metered parking. More details are within this guide. Please note the lot directly in front (to the south) of the venue will be reserved during the conference. Though parking is available, we encourage bike riding, ridesharing, bussing, and all other alternative modes of transport to Big Omaha.
The Opening Party on August 16 at KANEKO is street parking only.

DO YOU PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO THE AFTER PARTY AT MAHA MUSIC FESTIVAL?

Yes! To help get you to the Maude Lounge at Maha in Aksarben Village (approximately six miles away), we will have extra stylish, free transportation available to those who want to head straight to the festival once the conference wraps up. Spots will be first-come, first-served. More details will be available on-site.

WHERE SHOULD I STAY?

Our partner hotels are the brand new Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District (0.8 miles from the conference venue) and the Courtyard by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area (1 mile from the conference venue). The very special Big Omaha hotel rates expired in late July.

ARE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES INCLUDED IN THE CONFERENCE PRICE?

Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase starting at noon to all attendees 21+ with ID. At the Opening Party on August 16, drinks are free from 7-8 p.m. and cash bar afterwards.

IS THERE A WAY TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FELLOW BIG OMAHANS?

Yes, we are offering access to an exclusive Big Omaha online community through Alice, a free digital platform “that makes smart, instant connections between business owners and the resources they need to accelerate sustainable growth and global impact.” An invitation to sign up is sent out via email shortly before the conference.

2018 Big Omaha speaker Elizabeth Gore is an Alice co-founder.