Rock on — almost literally. Beginning in 2005, the Gem & Jam Festival was initially developed to complement the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase. But as the festival has continued to evolve and expand over the past years, it has cultivated an audience of its own. With vendors selling unique gems, rare fossils, artifacts showcasing decades of local history, Gem & Jam is as much a cultural experience as it is a musical one. Explore the area’s rich Native American history by walking through gem showcases put on by the American Indian Arts Exposition. Or, tune in with your spirituality and attend an Amethyst Stage or Topaz Healing Sanctuary workshop. These workshops invite participants to slow down and commune with their surroundings, engaging in breathwork journeys and drumming sounds — the perfect way to cap off a day of dancing and music.
And, let’s not forget about the musical lineup. Rock your heart out to headliner bluegrass-rock-funk band The String Cheese Incident. If EDM is more your speed, stay for a few sets as the lineup weaves between electronic and jam music, with trippy light shows by LSDREAM or beats by the DJ Emancipator. Check out the live painters and art installations nestled between sets, too.
Hailed as “the perfect medicine for the long, gray winter months” by Huffington Post, and “homey and homespun” by Billboard, Gem & Jam fits comfortably between the scale of a large showcase and that of a boutique festival. Its 55,000 annual visitors seem to agree.
- 55,000 people attend
- Gem & Jam offers 3-day General Admission tickets for $282 and single-day passes for $92.
- For access to early entry, chill zones, goodie bags, and viewing areas, VIP tickets are available to purchase for $592 or can be upgraded for $450.
- Car camping, RV camping, and glamping passes are also available to purchase separately.
- Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Tucson
Is there an age limit?
Gem & Jam is kid-friendly! Anyone under 16 needs to be accompanied by an adult, and any child under 6 doesn’t require a ticket.
Are refunds available?
Gem & Jam will happen rain or shine. No refunds are offered, so make sure your calendar is cleared out in advance.
What about food, wifi? Any amenities?
There is an available ATM, but no public wifi. The festival will have food vendors that can accommodate gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian diets. Keep an eye out for trucks offering grilled cheeses, loaded nachos, plant-based tacos, and more.
What should I bring with me?
Some recommended items include warm clothes (Tucson isn’t immune to the winter chill), camping gear, rain gear, a reusable water bottle, earplugs, bandanas, extra batteries, toiletries, and blankets.
Am I allowed to spin fire?
Although a frequently asked question, the answer is a hard and fast no.