Big Omaha and Maha Music Festival merge into a three-day cultural event


The return of the tenth annual Big Omaha conference was announced today, but with one major change. This year, the inspirational tech conference will take place in conjunction with the Maha Music Festival.

The Big Omaha conference, now part of the Maha experience, will be held August 16 and 17 with venue details to be announced. Maha will be expanded to two days and will take place on August 17 and 18 in Aksarben Village.

“We’ve heard talk about Omaha needing its own cultural event modeled after SXSW in Austin for quite some time, and we agree, though we want to make sure it’s reflective of what’s happening here,” said Maha Executive Director Lauren Martin. “If we can help bring together dynamic cultural aspects unique to our community into a collective experience—in this case, a summertime event—that’s something we’re very excited to move toward.”

Big Omaha’s 2018 programming will reflect that by aiming to encourage entrepreneurial spirit at all levels, from current business owners to those looking to get an idea off the ground.

Big Omaha and Silicon Prairie News co-founders Jeff Slobotski and Dusty Davidson started the conference in 2009. The inaugural event brought together over 400 entrepreneurs, innovators, and creatives to hear almost a dozen nationally recognized speakers.

Omaha’s AIM Institute has owned and led Big Omaha and Silicon Prairie News since 2015. Silicon Prairie News will stay with AIM as Big Omaha changes hands to Maha.

Dr. Kandace Miller, President & CEO of AIM said the organization will continue to support and promote Maha and Big Omaha as a sponsor.

“We are pleased to transition the important Big Omaha event to Maha, which will build Omaha’s solid reputation as a Silicon Prairie destination for tech startups, ideas and innovation,” said Miller.

Over the last decade, both Big Omaha and Maha Music Festival have drawn attendees from all 50 states to visit Omaha, with a shared goal of attracting and retaining talent.

“The music is still our greatest means to attract a national, or even global, audience,” said Martin. “But our growth will allow us to place emphasis on the connections and conversations that make our city the headliner.”

Past years’ Maha festivals have seen national headliners such as Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Spoon, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse.

Big Omaha lineups have been just as strong with speakers from Netflix, Top Chef, Twitter, Medium and To Write Love On Her Arms.

2018 pricing, artist and speaker lineups and ticket sale dates will be announced next month. Attendees will have several options to purchase passes: a dual festival-conference pass will be sold as well as festival tickets to Friday or Saturday only, or both festival days combined.

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