Shralpin took a trip down to Tucson, Arizona for Gem and Jam Festival 2020. This was the 13th annual Gem and Jam, a weekend-long camping festival held at the Pima County Fairground.
The weekend was full of workshops for yoga, poetry and drum circles. Towards the back of the venue, you could experience live painting and an art gallery. The tunes flowed no matter where you found yourself on the fairgrounds. The vendors brought fashion, jewelry, and eclectic rocks from all across the world.
The venue at the Pima County Fairgrounds definitely didn’t disappoint after taking last year off. From the community vibe to the well-placed stages, vendors and art show; the vibes flowed seamlessly.
The easy access re-entry from the campground to the festival made the environment relaxed and more enjoyable. The shade from the numerous large trees and sun shade sails made the Pima County Fairgrounds an oasis in the desert.
The music lineup included big names like Tipper, Big Gigantic, and The Floozies to smaller acts such as Twiddle, TH3, and SoDown.
The four stages created a dynamic sensation of different genres of music. Every stage offered different installation art, from a Compliment Booth to Treenet “trampolines” built for four to lounge on at a time. The stages, rightfully named after gems, dazzled with 3D minerals and artistic geodes. Art was certainly not in short supply over the weekend.
You couldn’t get to Emerald Stage without walking through the large open area where artist from all around the US where showing off their talents. Most of the artists were painting different subject matter and styles. One artist was showing off his wood-burning skills, while another was creating jewelry from polymer clay.
On Sunday the festival hosted a silent, live art auction to benefit manymouths.org, a Tucson based collective. In between sets you could walk around a small gallery set up near the live art. Being able to watch a painting come to life and view previous pieces by the artist was a cool comparison.
You were also able to walk around and do a little shopping between sets. The official merchandise tent offered quality clothing and hats as well as this year’s official Gem and Jam poster in a holographic shimmer. The Denver Gem Collection brought creativity to neckless rock raps, a large mineral showcase with everything well displayed, and other gem festival attire. However, no real jam festival is complete without a Grateful Dead vendor offering pendants, mood rings, clothing, and hats. Any festivarian could find whatever they were looking for whether a classic design, vintage, or new age gear.
Gem and Jam all age festival delivered an unforgettable weekend. This section of the 640-acre fairground is the perfect setting for this outdoor festival. A diverse selection of music was offered from stage to stage providing chill vibes and artistic creativity.
Whether listening to a new artist or getting down to a favorite Gem and Jam brought together a well-rounded selection. It was easy to get lost in the art, be it a jungle gym decked out in lights or a stage boasting with creativity. Everywhere you looked something unique was displayed. Can’t wait to return to the desert next year’s jam.