15th annual Gem and Jam Festival kicks off at the Pima County Fairgrounds

KMSB News 9-10 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 8:32 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -

The 15th annual Gem and Jam Festival is kicking off at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

The Tucson staple has brought thousands of people to the Old Pueblo to enjoy music, art and highlight gems and minerals from around the world.

“Everyone’s like amazing and has such great energy. Everyone is so friendly and kind. You can’t go wrong meeting anyone here,” said Colton Miller from Phoenix.

55 musical artists from all over the country are performing this weekend on four different stages. Between 5,000 and 7,000 people are expected to dance the night away at the Pima County Fairgrounds each day this weekend.

Toby White, the founder and partner of Gem and Jam said the growth is a huge accomplishment since it began in 2005.

“It kind of turned into a release for people when they needed something fun to do when they’re not working the gem show and a lot of locals have gotten interested in it and it’s kind of become a staple here in the Tucson area,” said White.

There are food trucks and even virtual art exhibits. Lots of artists say they come back every single year because they have never experienced another event quite like it.

“It creates a cultural community of people who are interested in crystals and gems but also really love music and it gives us something to do besides just go to gem shows. Like every year we get to see everyone from the last year and it’s a community. It’s a very special thing to us,” said Jason Burruss from Purple Couch Gallery.

Different workshops are happening throughout the weekend involving everything from dancing to yoga.

Charles Weinert from MZG said the whole festival creates an open-minded community for even those new performers who are just breaking into their music roles.

“When we were playing last year we were a very new act, so we received a lot of love from this community. On top of also having a great music community, there’s also a great gemstone community. Anyone who’s interested in that kind of thing,” said Weinert.

If you’re interested in joining in on the magic, you can buy tickets online or at the box office.

Bring good energy, everything here and everyone’s amazing,” said Miller.

Paige Schultz from Denver added, “Talk to as many people as you can and really get to know who they are because there’s a lot of fun and very different people around.”

Performances will be going on through Sunday, Feb. 5.