Lighting up the Desert: Preview of Gem and Jam 2017
03 Jan 2017

The Author

Profile photo of Abby Benjamin
Soulful Scorpio always chasing the next adventure in the outside world and within.


A music festival in the “off” season is a rare treat.  Like the gift of a snow sport, it provides us with the opportunity to get out for a much needed breath of fresh air during the long, cold and sometimes lonely winter months.   Since 2007, Gem and Jam Festival has invited the community to resurface from hibernation and reconnect with one another for a few days under the warm Arizona sun. Including everything we love: live music, art, connection, food and CRYSTALS, Gem and Jam is the perfect place to be reminded of all that’s beautiful in the world. Sparkleberry Lane will return to Gem and Jam Feb 2-5, 2017 to replenish our souls for a second year, and we’re so excited to see all of you out there!

Installation at Gem and Jam 2015

For nearly 62 years, jewelers, collectors, energy workers and crystal enthusiasts have flocked to Tucson, Arizona for what is now one of the largest Gem, Mineral, & Fossil Showcases in the world.  For the past 11 years, music enthusiasts have also had reason to journey to Tucson as Gem and Jam Festival has been able to curate an incredible festival by adding stellar live-music to all the things we already love. We are grateful to producers of festival (Infinite Music, Euphonic Conceptions, and Challenger) for their vision, which truly is a cosmic collision uniting the transformative fest culture with this historic Gem and Mineral show.


Previously taking place in downtown Tucson, this year’s Gem and Jam moves 20 miles south to Pima County Fairgrounds, offering patrons a wide range of camping options for the first time!  Potential reason for this move is that attendance is expected to more than double from 5,000 the past two years to 10,000+ this year. With more room to breathe, the festival will be expanding it’s offering with new live music stages, art galleries and installations, live paintings, daytime workshops, and vendors — not to mention a diverse lineup with epic jam band acts appropriately reinforcing the jam and gem.


“There is something truly special about this year’s lineup,” says festival co-producer Josh Pollack. “It will be really exciting to see these collaborations come together, for a magical few nights under the desert sky.”

VibeSquad at Gem and Jam 2015

Almost every music genre will be represented this year! Members from Phish and The String Cheese Incident will make numerous appearances and offer incredible collaborations.  Mike Gordon from Phish will headline the festival with his self-titled band.  Members of SCI will perform as The Trancident (Kyle Hollingsworth, Michael Travis, Michael Kang, Jason Hann) and EOTO & friends (Jason Hann and Michael Travis with G Jones).  A diverse electronic offering will include headlining party-throwers Gramatik and The Floozies, daytime disco duo Poolside, Australian-based psychedelic wizard Opiuo, and beat-craft genius Thriftworks.  Jamtronic experimentalists Lotus and The New Deal will provide a great crossover between these two genres, and with the inclusion of bluegrass shredders Infamous Stringdusters, funk masters The Motet, and a whole lot more there’s definitely something for everyone this year.

In addition to the incredible live music (see full lineup below), get ready for more stage design, performers, art galleries, live painters, and art installations to enhance your visual experience.  During the day, educational workshops including yoga, flow arts, thai massage, tea and crystal healing, drum circles, crafting, and more will provide opportunities for full immersion into this transformative weekend.


Tickets for 4 full days of magic are $189 plus fees, and camping passes must be purchased separately.  A variety of camping options include walk-in camping (park and hike in your gear) for $30, car camping (camp next to your car) for $85, and RV camping for $179. You can find event tickets and camping passes here.  If you’re flying in for the event, check out these amazing Ready, Set, Camp options to have your camp set up for you upon arrival.  Grab your tickets, friends, and glitter, and we’ll see you in Tucson!!


Cover art by The Welch Brothers.

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