Festival Review: Gem & Jam 2023
Article by: James Jimenez and Grant Soffer
Gem & Jam Music Festival recently hosted its 15th annual festival this past month in Tucson, Arizona. The festival started in 2005 as a one-day event and has grown every year since. Besides a 2-year break from 2011 – 2012 and a national shutdown in 2021, this festival has been going strong. It is a staple of the Tucson community and the accompanying gem show experience.
This year’s lineup was highlighted by The String Cheese Incident, The Floozies, and LSDREAM.
The 2023 Gem & Jam Music Festival was an ethereal experience that transported attendees to a world of sonic bliss and artistic wonder. The festival was like a journey through a kaleidoscope of sound and color, a feast for the senses that left everyone spellbound.
Upon entering the festival gates, all Jammers were greeted by a dazzling array of art installations, each one more stunning than the last. From towering sculptures to interactive installations, the festival grounds were a playground for everyone’s imagination. Everywhere one looked, there was something to inspire and delight.
The music was equally awe-inspiring, with a lineup that blended the best of electronic, jam, and funk artists both past and present.
Each of the performances fit the festival, taking its attendees on a journey through sound, with artists using their skills to create a fitting sonic landscape. The stage design was equally impressive, with LED screens and lighting displays producing a mesmerizing atmosphere. Some of our personal favorite sets were LSDREAM on Saturday and Defunk on Sunday.
One of the standout features of the festival was the Gem & Jam market, a magical bazaar where vendors sold gems, crystals, and jewelry. The vendors had amazing handmade goods and were more than happy to share their knowledge of the stones and their meanings. Gem & Jam featured an incredible variety of vendors. One could spend days exploring the market and talking to vendors. Overall, the festival can be a spiritual experience, leaving attendees feeling renewed and energized.
The food at the festival was equally impressive, with vendors serving up everything from vegan tacos to gourmet grilled cheese. Each bite was a treat, with flavors that lingered long after the meal was over. Gem & Jam had some of the best festival food options we’ve seen.
Gem & Jam also had a unique selection of fun activities and activations for attendees of all ages throughout the event. Everything from instructor led-yoga and meditation to the first-ever LIGHTCODE set in Arizona, there were fun, spiritual activities for the whole family.
Overall, the 2023 Gem & Jam Music Festival was an immersive experience that left attendees feeling inspired and transformed. It was a celebration of music, art, and community — a reminder that the world is a beautiful place filled with endless possibilities. Whether a die-hard music fan, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun, unique way to enjoy a weekend — this festival has it all!
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