As an Arizona Native and OG desert raver, Gem and Jam Music Festival is one of my favorite, and easily the most unique, events to attend in my home state. This Festival isn't anything like your average Phoenix rave or club event.
Unlike most AZ shows that are an Uber ride away, you'll have to make a 2-3 hour drive South of the Valley into the Tuscon desert if you want to attend this one-of-a-kind 3-day camping event. For those who have been blessed to attended Gem and Jam, you already know how incredibly intricate and thought out each aspect of the festival is. With a focus on the art and healing side of what music festivals have offer to our community, there are so many hidden gems to discover here that you can't find anywhere else.
I have to be honest, The Sponges were not even on my radar before attending Gem and Jam. A few friends in our group said we HAD to go, so of course we put it in our list of "must-sees" for the weekend. To my surprise, their set was easily one of my favorites! It was the perfect blend of classic groovy disco and modern funky house to vibe to on the last night of this 3-day camping festival. These "Dukes of Disco" definitely brought some of my favorite groovy throwbacks that everyone knew the words too.
The Gem and Jam lineup consisted of so many up-and-coming artists that I had never heard of before and I loved that I had new jams to add to my playlists when I got back home.
I'm a BIG festival foodie. As a vegetarian though sometimes my festival food options are slim, but definitely not this weekend. At the top of the menu this "Veggie Burger" consisted of items I'd never thought to pair together. An organic root veggie patty wrapped in Swiss chard (strange) with aoli. It was no surprise that this interesting combo of veggies did not disappoint! Maybe it's just me but you can never go wrong with a good aioli. This burger made the perfect mid-day festival meal to enjoy on our walk back to camp.
The BYOC Bar
Now this is a concept that I truly love! At the "Bring Your Own Cup Bar" the options are actually endless. You have the opportunity to either choose one of their pre-made crafted beverages or if the herbalist who helps manage this cocktail lounge is available, he will handcraft you an incredibly unique tincture cocktail based on your individual needs.
The only catch is that you have to bring your own cup! I was thrilled because I just happened to come by the BYOC Bar as the herbalist was in and I had my trusty "camping cup" on hand. For me, this was such a special experience to have at a music festival. It combines what I love about the unique quirkiness of festivals and sustainability. I happily came back multiple times over the weekend to support this unique venture and relax in the artist lounge space.