With less than two months away from Gem & Jam’s 15th annual edition, the three-day music and arts festival has added more than 40 acts to its already stacked lineup.
Returning to the idyllic desert landscape of Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Arizona from Friday, February 3 - Sunday, February 5, Gem & Jam’s new artist additions include a special Lightcode set from LSDREAM, Grateful Dead/Talking Heads hybrid tribute band Talking Dead, Michael Travis and Aaron Johnson’s nascent duo Snakes & Stars, Denver trip-hop live-electronic pair Since JulEYE, and throngs of talented local acts.
In addition to LSDREAM making his highly-anticipated festival debut, the psychedelic bass purveyor will also showcase his special, live Lightcode set. As seen at festivals like Electric Forest, Lightning In A Bottle, and Okeechobee, Lightcode is an immersive sonic healing experience featuring original music, guided meditations, and sound baths.
Fans of the Talking Heads and The Grateful Dead will be treated to a hybrid tribute set by Talking Dead, a collaborative project from Life During Wartime and Garcia Birthday Band. Together, Talking Dead delivers unique marathon performances that are not for the light-hearted, with seamless full-band transitions and no set breaks. The supergroup is known for remarkable song couplings, groove mutations of fantasy mix-tapes, and an outright celebration of two of the most prominent song catalogs in history uniting in joyous triumph.
In addition to playing during both of The String Cheese Incident’s headlining sets, drummer Michael Travis will also perform alongside Aaron Johnston of The David Byrne Band in their new improvisational electronic act Snakes & Stars. After making their official debut earlier this year at Elevation Music Festival in Alma, Colorado, the duo’s mix of traditional drumming with various electronic genres has captivated audiences nationwide, leading to 2023 bookings at festivals like Electric Forest.
Denver trip-hop duo Since JulEYE will also be bringing their bracingly original, glitched-out melodics to Gem & Jam 2023. After initially starting as a solo project by DJ/producer Lev Averbakh, Since JulEYE recently added long-time collaborator and veteran keyboardist Todd Stoops (RAQ, Kung-Fu) as a permanent member. Now operating as a full-fledged duo, this new creative partnership has resulted in a vibrant mix of Averbakh’s bouncy hip-hop production with Stoops’ jam band sensibilities. Since JulEYE’s live sets feature Averbakh DJing and playing bass while Stoops finesses the keys, a dynamic combination that has led to performances at Summer Camp Music Festival, Color Field, and Denver’s Meow Wolf.
Since the festival’s inception, Gem & Jam has played an important role in developing and championing the Tucson music scene. For the 2023 installment, more than 40 homegrown artists will host an “All The Homies” takeover on the Opal Stage, exhibiting a display of some of Arizona’s most promising bubbling artists.
The new artist additions join headliners The String Cheese Incident, LSDREAM, The Floozies, and Emancipator, with support from The Motet, Dirtwire, Ott, SoDown, The Funk Hunters, Mark Farina, and Marvel Years. Acts making their Gem & Jam festival debuts include Justin Martin, Ayla Nereo, Haywyre, Aqueous, EAZYBAKED, Justin Jay, The Nth Power, Poranguí, and Ravenscoon.
The sonically diverse festival will return to the Pima County Fairgrounds, located on 640 acres and just 20 miles south of downtown Tucson. The venue is surrounded by nature and resides in a stunning desert environment, creating an expansive and magical setting perfect for Gem & Jam Festival. Like previous years, Gem & Jam will offer on-site camping, RV passes, glamping options, late-night music, daytime workshops, delicious food & beverage options, a world-renowned vendor bazaar, and of course, around-the-clock music and art.
Gem & Jam is fostering a relationship with environmental festival organization Green Disco to improve its environmental footprint and give attendees the opportunity to have an eco-friendly festival experience. Green Disco’s Eco-Band is an optional ticket add-on that supports nonprofits in Tucson, offsets measurable amounts of carbon, and supports environmental data collection efforts. Made from 100% hemp, the $20 wristband allows festival goers to do their part in conserving the environment and provides access to exclusive perks on-site. The Eco-Band can be purchased at checkout or as an add-on through our official ticketing page to be picked up at the box office.