FESTY NEWS: Gem & Jam’s Beauty Grows With 2015 Fest & Krooked Drivers Agree



Gem & Jam once again exceeded all expectations this year, bringing all sorts of talent, art, and gems to the Tucson desert.  This Gem & Jam was bigger and better than ever before, “The growth from last year to this year was very much apparent,” says Donnie Dalbora and Maddy O’Neal of the Krooked Drivers, who have played the past two Gem & Jams.  We had a conversation with the Euphonic Conceptions guys talking about how the festival practically doubled in size and actually sold out this year which was so awesome to see happen over just one year. The coolest part is how diverse it is too. There [were] people from all over the world there for different reasons.”  Walking through the festival, this becomes obvious.  Fire dancers, high-end tourmaline vendors, painters, people meditating, the list goes on.  Very different people, from very different places, sharing an experience set to an amazing soundtrack.

Every musical act offered something new, the first night Papadosio played an amazing, energy-filled set as Alex Grey, on stage with them, painted a Steal Your Face.  Saturday, headliners Emancipator and Michal Menert both decided to bring full bands into the mix, preforming as Emancipator Ensemble and Michal Menert Trio.  The excitement continued Sunday, Giraffage throw down a set fueled by groovy retro beats and humor (ending with an unedited Sandstorm).  Phutureprimitive closed out the festival on the main stage, as fans of Arizona band, Spafford packed the indoor stage to see the local favorites. 

Even with the festival’s growth it still has managed to keep its uniqiness.  It’s always cool to go to a completely different place than your “local” scene and feel just as much at home- that’s what Gem and Jam was like. A lot of the Colorado crew was there as well as people whose faces we are starting to see over and over again at different festivals. The fact that it’s not too big and not too small also has its advantages. You can catch both the main stage and inside stage music within a matter of seconds. …….also other festivals aren’t 5 minutes away from In N Out Burger,” Krooked Drivers explained. With the festival’s exponential growth, and always-impressive lineup of musicians, artist, and vendors, it is certain that next year’s Gem and Jam will continue to out do itself.

From Gem & Jam 2015, posted by Curated Music on 3/03/2015 (24 items)

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Written by Peter Palmer