Cross-Genre Conspire Music and Arts Festival’s First Year in Omaha


May 9th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Conspire Music and Arts Festival

Omaha, NE— “We don’t know what’s going to happen, the artists don’t know what’s going to happen, so we’re all kind of learning together about the possibilities of spontaneous collaboration,” said Olivia Malik, UNO student and co-founder of the Conspire Music and Arts Festival.

It’s impossible to say what’s going to be performed at this weekend’s Conspire Music and Arts Festival, because the music hasn’t been written yet. Created by UNO students Bach Mai and Olivia Malik, Conspire brings local artists and musicians of all genres together to collaborate with others whom they’ve never worked with, and maybe never met.

And artists’ reaction to the idea, according to Mai?

“There was a nice spectrum between that sounds terrifying and this is the coolest thing,” Mai said. There’s no question of fact that this is applicable to all musicians or artists. This is a very intensive thing People are going to have to really improvise and just immediately go into a group focus and have to collaborate with people they’ve never met potentially or things like that, but I know the majority of artists that are in it right now are just very excited to try something new.”

Artists were placed together by Mai and Malik based on their backgrounds and interests and given one week to compose. The current lineup features visual artists, rockers, rappers, classical musicians and jazz players. All acts will perform on Saturday, May 13 at Outr Spaces.

Mai developed the idea for Conspire after seeing a similar concept in Berlin, Germany. He approached fellow student of music entrepreneurship, Malik, and the two have organized the first year of Conspire in just a few months.

Malik believes that location has something to do with artists’ support of the festival.

“Omaha has such an awesome pool of musicians and visual artists and dancers to pull from, so it kind of made the whole concept possible knowing that Bach knew all of these people that we could bring together, and they were all open to just randomly create music or visual art,” Malik said. “So it was kind of a chance thing that a concept like this would work in Omaha.”

Mai and Malik hope that Conspire will expand in the future and present new opportunities for art and music in Omaha.

“One thing that I really enjoyed about the other festival is just there were so many genres that were crossed and so I hope that we can facilitate that here as well,” Mai said. “And also it just plays to that angle of making of unlikely collaborations and building these unlikely relationships, because I in general know all these people and there are some people that in my mind I’m just like how do you guys not know each other yet? How have I not seen you guys play together?”

The Conspire Music and Arts Festival performance will be this Saturday, May 13 at 8:00pm at Outr Spaces. For more information and tickets, visit


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