Gem and Jam, a unique festival set in the heart of Tuscon in February, is one you won’t want to miss. Coming up on its 10th anniversary, if there’s any time to go, it’s this year. Here are 5 reasons why.
1. The Gems
Falling on one of the same weekends as the Tuscon Gem & Mineral Show, there is a cornucopia of Earth’s lush natural beauty to behold, both at the festival and in the surrounding city. One of the most renowned gem shows in the world, Tuscon transforms into a mecca of gem culture for two short weekends. This year, Gem and Jam falls on the last weekend of the gem show. With such a saturation of the arts surrounding the festival, the vendors at Gem and Jam are top notch, rivaling much bigger festivals. Whether you just like to admire the beautiful minerals, or are in store for a custom piece of work, Gem and Jam is the place to be.
2. The Art
Gem and Jam is nestled in the Arizona desert, a haven of relaxation and play in the harsh surrounding environment. The vast display of arts is also shown off in the installations around the festival. From the music, to the interactive installments, to the performers and beyond, there are so many spectacular views to drink in. Climb on the geodesic domes while projections dance across the fest, or relax on pillows and mats while carefully-placed lights cast a warm glow on resting attendees below. Meander over to the painting stations, watching as talented artists manifest their beautiful visions onto canvas, inspired by the music. Not to mention, Alex and Allyson Grey, pioneers of visionary art and exploration, will be gracing the stage again to accompany the music with their live painting.
3. The Music
The partners of Gem and Jam are ringing in the 10th anniversary the right way with the most incredible lineup this fest has yet to see. With an added third stage, this expansion of the festival has opened up the doors for a greater saturation of artists. This festival offers a vast range of music, including the grandiose performance art of Beats Antique, the resounding messages of The Polish Ambassador and Nahko, the enchantment of artists such as Tycho, Desert Dwellers, and Govinda, and the world-class musicianship of those such as Lettuce and Shady Horns with Break Science, along with many more. Pretty Lights Music family will also be joining for the fest, with artists such as Michal Menert, pioneer of the Pretty Lights sound, and Eliot Lipp, both returning veterans of the festival. There is truly something for everyone on this musically diverse lineup.
4. The Production
With interstellar stages filled with incredible visionary art installments, world-class projection mapping from the likes of Johnathan Singer, and phenomenal sound production in years past, Gem and Jam’s caliber this year is sure to impress, with the bar set even higher. A perfect storm of visual and audio stimulation, let Gem and Jam enlighten your senses.
5. The Community
At this boutique festival, you are sure to make lifelong friends. A community of open loving acceptance, it is unlike any other experience. Sit and relax in the tea lounge as you unwind from a weekend of fun and play, or share a delicious crepe or sandwich from one of the amazing food trucks within the fest. Or simply frolic along the vendor booths and stages, admiring all the wonder this festival has to offer. With so much love, art, and beauty, Gem and Jam is a must on your festival hit list.
Article by Hanna Danecker