On September 20, Palm Springs, California will be transformed from its usual gay paradise into a very, very gay paradise especially for women, as the date marks the start of the 32nd annual Dinah Shore weekend, a five-day pool party and music festival centered on queer women.
Founded and produced by Mariah Hanson, the event aims to both create a fun and safe space for queer women (and queer or non-queer allies) to celebrate themselves; and to uplift rising queer artists. As such, every year, the festival—known as “The Dinah”—features a stacked lineup of predominately queer performers to entertain guests through daytime and nighttime parties.
This year, New York-born-and-based rapper Princess Nokia leads a headliner list that also includes rapper Doechii (who debuted at the Dinah in 2021), Australian artist G Flip, indie singer Phem, 90s dance music group Black Box, and pop artists Keeana Kee and Xana.
“I’ve never been to Dinah… but it feels like a rite of passage, as a queer artist, to be able to play [there],” says Xana, who will perform as a daytime headliner closing out the festival on Sunday. “I’m really excited. I feel like a little kid on Christmas.”
G Flip, Phem, and Keeana Kee will serve as the other daytime headliners (Friday through Sunday). Meanwhile, Doechii and Black Box will headline Friday night, and Princess Nokia—a gender-nonconforming star whose 2020 single “I Like Him” struck big on TikTok—will perform in the festival’s top spot Saturday night.
Also providing festival sounds are six DJs and the two winners of The Dinah’s Emerging Artist contest, an opportunity for the public to vote for especially fresh-faced artists to perform at the opening and close of the weekend. For a precise schedule, check out The Dinah’s lineup announcement.
This year’s performers follow many well-known artists, such as “Becky’s So Hot” singer Fletcher, who headlined in 2022 in the midst of what became her break out year. For Xana, seeing that kind of trajectory of a Dinah predecessor makes her feel like she’s on the right path for her own career—and she’s “stoked” about the opportunity. What’s more, the Dinah show will be Xana’s third live performance ever (and a stop on her first ever tour). That it’s for a queer women-centered music festival only makes it even more special to her.
Impressively, Xana is more excited than nervous (at least for now) about her Dinah performance, and she’s savvily curated her Dinah set list to be especially suited for who’s at the festival and when she’s performing.
That is, to both honor the fatigue people might have by Sunday and ensure they leave on a high note, she plans to probably leave out sadder songs, like her T-Swift style longform relationship-mourning song “19.” She’s still intent on delivering songs that carry strong emotions—just with a particular emphasis on fun, too… and of course sexiness, because, well, it’s The Dinah. For example, she’s definitely playing “Complex”, because she thinks the audience will eat up the song’s “sexual, power-hungry” vibes.
“We’re gonna get down and dirty—it’s gonna be great,” says Xana, who’s psyched not just for her own performance, but for the whole weekend. “Everyone’s gonna have a lot of fun with all the artists.”