Gem & Jam 2024, Arizona, Phuckitphoto, Boogie T

MP3 TAKES: Gem & Jam 2024 Embodies A Truly Special Experience

Upon arriving in the American southwest, it was easy to tell the Tucson, Arizona region is a mecca for gems. Driving down the freeway you will see billboard after billboard for gems, and gem show after gem show lining the streets. 

We cannot recommend highly enough to make a trip into the south side of town to try Taquería El Rapido. These are hands down the best tacos north of the Mexican border. 

On the first day of Gem & Jam, we did have to deal with some inclement weather, but did not let that get us down. During Maddy O’Neal’s set, the rain was so strong the crowd was forced to find shelter. Luckily, right behind the dance floor was a big covered area where we all were able to find shelter and boogie to our hearts content. Once the rain subsided, everybody was stoked to get back out on the grass and play in the mud.

Gem & Jam 2024, Phuckitphoto

Amazing Music All Weekend Long

From big wubby bass acts to the grooviest of jam bands, the music kept us moving from start to finish. Early in the day we would all groove out, then moving into the night things would turn more rave centric. The stand-out acts of the weekend were definitely Jantsen, Boogie T, A Hundred Drums, Jaenga, Maddy O’Neil, Daily Bread, Truth, Of The Trees, DirtySnatcha, Michal Menert, and Break Science. 

Gem & Jam 2024, Phuckitphoto

Beyond just great music, the festival had a vast amount of stage performers doing flow arts, gymnastics, and just shaking their booties with the crowd. At the side of the main stage, there were aerial performances and fire spinners that kept the audience captivated. 

Gem & Jam 2024, Phuckitphoto

Art Installations

Everywhere you looked at Gem & Jam there was something to enjoy. From the attendees decorating their own camps to the festival grounds being covered with art in every direction, the space transported people to a realm where they could be free, be themselves, and be happy together. 

Gem & Jam 2024, Phuckitphoto

At the bass music stage known as Onyx, there were life-size mannequins used as decor. These mannequins all were painted in various creative ways and had unique trippy designs for heads. In addition, the rave stage had an interactive screen where you could dance in front of it, then the screen would make you part of the show. The experience was like creating your own music visuals to be played on stage. Between the bass stage and outdoor main stage known as Emerald, there was an entire art gallery to be enjoyed.

Gem & Jam 2024, Phuckitphoto

Craft Vendors And Food

As you enter the festival grounds, you are immersed in a wide array of food choices. Delicious pizza for a quick, affordable slice to get you refueled and back on the dancefloor. Or you could expand your taste palette with their Indian food. If you are in need of comfort food like mac n’ cheese, Gem & Jam has what you crave. Prices were very budget-friendly for being at such a well-known and prestigious festival.

Sustainability And The Local Scene

We all know how it can be, a big festival is coming to your city, but not one act on the lineup is actually from the surrounding area. This is not how Gem & Jam operates. This year there was the Opal stage, cultivated by idgaFNK and All The Homies. It showcased 65-plus diverse acts from the local Arizona music scene. 

Gem & Jam 2024, Phuckitphoto, A Hundred Drums

The festival has also partnered with Green Disco in order to meet sustainability goals. Offering a clean hemp wristband as a ticket add-on, Gem & Jam removed over 300,000 pounds of CO2 emission from the atmosphere. This is all tracked and recorded by Pachama.

Gem & Jam 2024, Phuckitphoto, A Hundred Drums

Gem & Jam also supports the Million Trees Project and Tucson Clean & Beautiful with the goal of planting 250 trees in the local areas. Tucson Clean & Beautiful will be planting over 150 trees in a local neighborhood from Gem & Jam’s efforts alone. The trees planted will be low-water-using, shade-providing desert trees such as Velvet Mesquite, Desert Ironwood, and Blue Palo Verde. 

Gem & Jam 2024, Phuckitphoto, Lettuce

Tickets and more information can be found HERE.

Connect with Gem & Jam: INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

Photos and review courtesy of Jesse Edelman / @phuckitphoto