The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

106° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Live music and relaxation: A look into the 15th annual Gem & Jam Festival


The 15th annual Gem and Jam Festival took place over the weekend of Feb 3-5 at the Pima County Fairgrounds. The music festival and gem show fetured over 100 performers and visiters from all over the world. 

Walk into a world of crystals, art installations, healing spaces and music that makes your body vibrate. All surrounded by the picturesque Tucson mountains under the larger-than-life desert sky. This is the Gem & Jam Festival.

With people from all over attending the 2023 festival, thousands of people coming together to enjoy all that Gem & Jam has to offer.

Thousands of people from all over travelled to the Pima County Fairgrounds to attend the 2023 live music festival.

While the main focus of Gem & Jam is live music, there are also a variety of other activities. Get lost in the art galleries, or even watch art being created live.

People can be found dancing at one of the four stages, attending a workshop, getting a tarot reading, shopping for their next piece of jewelry or enjoying food from one of the many vendors. 

The sense of community fills the air, with lots of smiling faces and connections around every corner. It is not uncommon to see people hugging strangers as if they were old friends. 

Bowls of assorted gems and minerals at the 15th annual Gem & Jam Festival. 
Bowls of assorted gems and minerals at the 15th annual Gem & Jam Festival. 

The Giving Pendant, a vendor, is all about non-permanence. One can purchase a unique pendant, set an intention for it and, when the time feels right, give it to a new person. Each pendant has a unique code, so you can see how far the pendant has traveled from person to person. 

“It’s not all about sales, it’s about creating a community around Tucson and everywhere,” Coral Amayi said, an employee of The Giving Pendant.

Many vendors, like The Giving Pendent, had cozy couches in corners for guests to curl up, sit and have a chat if they would like. These comforting spaces were everywhere, allowing the festival to have areas to unwind. 

An artist from New Mexico, Robert Henry the 3rd (B), asks passersby what color he should use on his artwork installation. 

“The best part about Gem & Jam is obviously the people and making connections,” Henry said. 

Rose Ganache, a singer-songwriter duo made up of MeShell Wolf and James Coburn from Denver, CO. performed at Gem & Jam for the first time this year. 

They would describe themselves as “electric, acoustic, and rock and roll … we have no box,” said Coburn. 

Along with the other artists and guests they are, “excited to make new friends, see live music and relax,” Wolf said.

A woman posing at this year's Gem & Jam Festival. 
A woman posing at this year’s Gem & Jam Festival. 


Gem & Jam features music with a wide variety of genres, drawing in fans of varying backgrounds. Despite the vast differences in artists that attend, the festival is still considered to be unknown by many. 

“It’s crazy how so many people don’t know about it, it feels like a little secret,” said Rowan Snider, a second-time attendee.

If you’re interested in exploring new music, supporting local artists and meeting people from all over, the Gem & Jam Festival might be for you. Check the festival’s website for info on what lies ahead at

Follow Maayan Cohen on Twitter

More to Discover
Activate Search