Blessings to you reading this! I hope you are well!
Just dropping you a quick review for the Gem & Jam Festival 2014 8th annual installment held in Tucson Arizona USA from February 7-9th 2014.
I was very honored and excited when I received word I would be able to attend this years festivities, as I have been following, promoting, and getting psyched for the day I would finally be able to attend this amazing event happening practically in my backyard.
Its hard to say whether the allure of the music, the visionary art, or the best minerals in the world were the biggest draw for me, but I have to say, having all of these elements in one place being reprazented on the scale that they were, was simply indescribable.
I read some great reviews, which I will link, and watched some incredible videos, looked at some amazing pictures from the show, and all of them while totally amazing and incredible, do not do the experience justice. just a drop in the ocean of incredible experiences around every turn, every being wondrous, every painting a masterpiece, every sound like angels singing. It was almost complete overload to be surrounded by so much incredible awesomeness.
Truly like us of another heavenly dimension intentionally gathered with one another so we could experience that lost paradise again, even if for a just a few days.
I have gathered some of my favorite shots and videos links and blogs reviewing it after the text here for you to check out a sample.
So in short – all really amazing, just in general. Being a seasoned festy goer and having been in the music scene for over 2 decades in production, I will also give you the finer details of the event for you seasoned folks.
Arriving friday with an awesome rideshare group from Phoenix including April one of the booking agents for The Sail Inn, our driver who booked the official pre party for the Gem & Jam in Tempe, we managed to get in the gates probably around 6pm or so. Tsunami Publicity (my PR contact for the event ) and Euphonic (the event organizers ) doing their professional work, had me squared away after a little looking. Media area set up outside the gates with power and wireless, and constantly manned by EC or Tsunami crew – that was great. Some serious media heads representing – a lot of equipment and pros went through that tent documenting every aspect of the festival from every angle.
Was super stoked to catch Desert Dwellers, parts of Alex Grey’s talk, and pieces of Trevor, Amani, The Motet, The Digital Connection, and Unlimited Aspect’s sets. While running around and taking in all the sights and sounds, visionary art overload, decoration sacred geometry overload, and super excited to go and train spot the VJs Jonathan Singer and Nate running the crystal mappings, that was a fav place of mine to hang out through the whole event.
Being a VJ since 1992 and really getting back into it of late thanks to inspiring friends and supporters like VJ Sam, I have been getting ready to launch a new chapter of my VJing. Watching Jonathan helped me figure out the details of what I was planning for a few years now, and was inspiration for the direction I felt a passion to move towards, but didnt know how to approach. So look out – Photonic Visuals with VJ Vid coming backatcha your visual cortex to galactivate it again real soon.
The 1st night after the show I was hanging with members of the Heady Hoop Tribe at the Grant Inn, and it could have been more peaceful. Unfortunately members of the Tucson Gem and Mineral show were all mixed up with members of the Gem and Jam and it could have mixed better. If I were coordinating the hotels – I would make sure to keep all those people of similar interests together to avoid that sort of confusion next year.
That being the situation at the hotel, as soon as we vacated for the grounds for the 2nd night, I knew I would not be returning.
The second night was just amazing – with more time to take in the vendors, the artists, the visuals, the music and sheer enjoyment of being surrounded by such a heady crowd. Adem Joel reppin the NM scene was good to see on the lineup – course Amani reprazenting too, really good to see. Favz like Kruza Kid, Nicoluminous, Russ Liquid, Thriftworks, Eliot Lipp, Bluetech, and Mimosa did not disappoint. Jonathan Singer was doing some visuals with live visionary artists digitally painting in the feed – really unreal to stand in that tent and watch for me.
After Party VIBE was awesome, saw some friends from Tahoe (the wonderful Ryan aka Irieyes and Ronde), who introduced me to the Firefly cats – real pleasure to meet them, hope to be up there at that festival this summer in June. The afterparties I rolled into with April, and after the chaos getting in, being a super limited capacity venue it was sold out, the gallery and the music and lounge / chill space was off the chains. Visionary art everywhere, cushy couches and pillows and chairs and sculptures you could crawl inside and chill in. Afterparty ending at 6 or so with Thriftworks throwing down an epic intimate set, April and i were burnt and went and rested for a few hours at a nice spot in Tucson, caught a few zzzzs, kicked it with some local heads who were super cool, ate some pizza, and headed refreshed and ready for day 3.
Day 3 was wonderfully surprising for me musically, with Spafford really blowing my mind, them combined with the Motet earlier, I think I have a new love of Jam Bands. Lynx was awesome, Govinda – wow, Love & Light brought it as usual, Random Rab LIVE was simply perfect, Kalya of course, one of my favz, and though Boombox’s set was a little delayed due to production issues, it rocked as well. And just when it seemed it couldn’t go any higher, it was off to the afterparty to finish it up.
Random Rab, Govinda, Nanda? Kalya? such an amazing last blur of beautiful people , music and VIBEs. so sad to see it end. Headed back over to those same super friendly locals house to chill and refresh for a few, then bolted out to rush around the Gem show real fast, say hello to some friends, see some of the biggest crystals i have ever seen and tachyon enhanced, and then rolled back slightly later than expected with a full crew of tired phoenix festival goers. Mad love to April from the Sail Inn again for the rideshare and awesome festival company.
While it was great to see all the peeps I knew, and wonderful to meet new ones, I couldn’t help but feeling a little sad I didn’t spend more time stalking the visionary artists and meeting them. I nearly came to tears a few times standing in front of some originals I had only dreamed of seeing in person. I also wanted to meet so many people I know from online – next one I hope.
So before I go into any points of consideration for improvement, I just want to to emphasize again, it was like heaven, standing with you all, being surrounded by such amazing art, music, souls, and activated objects and clothing.
I was super happy to see both http://www.jamcaremedical.com/ and http://www.dancesafe.org/ in the house – being a founding member of a dancesafe chapter in NM, i found that comforting to see the harm reduction and safety initiative
So many vendors and amazing things to look at, wonderful structures, art everywhere, intense primary projections, great main stage sound systems. wonderful decorations and art, installations, domes, well thought out. Could have used a healing sanctuary, or a lot more bodyworkers spread throughout imho, more altars, more workshops all day and talks with the artists and musicians, more focus on sustainability. and obvious free water stations – and perhaps more heat or volunteers to man the fires, mor places to chill and sit and listen? A greater gifting VIBE would have been nice as well, maybe some food or fruit or coffee lol, but it was a gathering of wonderful and intense merchandise, a true collection of the finest from our scene, so the vending is understandable – and need not be in competition I feel with the gifting. Also – its kinda disturbing the venue is an old slaughterhouse, and it def would have been better as a camping event – and while we are on it – porta potties management, gotta get those out of there or re cleaned every day, and keep the tp stocked. but you know, these are details, and I have been there as a promoter, I know everyone did their best, it was well managed, and incident free from reports at the medical tent, which is a serious achievement with a festival of this scope.
Cant wait for next year….
Please check out these great reviews, blogs, pics and youtube videos of the show from some amazing journalists! pics blogs and videos below due propz to their respective blogs and journalistic badasses
and pics propz go to their respective amazing photographers
and videos propz go to their respective amazing operators