About This Festival
A Marriage of Music and Art
What started as an after-party for the Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson, Arizona has grown into one of the longest running music festivals in the Southwest. Launching in 2003, Gem & Jam Festival is now entering its tenth year (the promoters sat out the recession years of 2011 and 2012) and draws an estimated 2,500 attendees each day over Valentine’s Day weekend.
During the three-week Gem and Mineral show, over 55,000 people from all over the globe gather in the area – and ten years in, Gem & Jam Festival has earned its spot in the roster of activities, making this time of year in Tucson a perfect marriage of music and art for gem enthusiasts and festival-goers of all kinds. One could say the massive presence of energy-channeling stones might have something to do with all the smiles on festival-goers faces during Gem & Jam.
While the main thrust of the festival is music, Gem & Jam also boasts dancers, visual artists performing live (think captivating painters like Alex Grey & Allyson Grey), workshops with themes such as The Magic of Contact Juggling, and Sacred Plants for Lucid Consciousness, food vendors and elaborate light shows. As the name implies, the lineup is always fairly even mix of jam bands and EDM acts, featuring festival favorites such as Beats Antique, Tycho, the Polish Ambassador, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and others. In 2016, the promoters added the Soulection stage, curated by founders of the bass-heavy Los Angeles record label of the same name.
The festival aims to reflect the magical energy of the precious stones and crystals on display in the nearby Tucson Convention Center. It’s on the small side as far as festivals go (and mostly family-friendly during the day), but still packs a lot of action over its three-day run.
The Lineup for 2016
Beats Antique, Lettuce, The Polish Ambassador, Tycho, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Minnesota, OTT (UK), Lyrics Born, Break Science with The Shady Horns, Mark Farina, Michal Menert, Eliot Lipp, Desert Dwellers, Dirtwire, Govinda, Delhi 2 Dublin, Exmag, Krooked Drivers, Marvel Years, The Magic Beans, Spafford, Dynohunter, Smokovich, Brothers Gow, BLVD, Souleye, Crush Effect, Modern Measure, COFRESHI, Artime, The Flying Skulls, Majitope, 8 Minutes to Burn, Rebel Disco DJs, Templo, Safi’s Lab, KYMA, Macrodot, Endoplasmic, The Bennu, Electric Feel, Pedro, Jahmontee, Adem Joel, Hey, Bucko, Milk & Scott, Top Dead Center, Elektra Tek, Cadillac Mountain, Jyshua Pcalyps, Keli and The Big Dream, M-Q.
Sango, Esta, Joe Kay, Insightful and the Whooligan. There will also be several night shows happening after the festival hours, featuring the likes of Mark Farina, Manic Focus, Eliot Lipp, Project Aspect, and more.