It is never to early to start thinking about the 2018 festival season. If you can’t decide what festival to go to first next year look no farther! At the end of January there is a festival going on in Tucson, Arizona that you can’t miss. With a perfect blend of electronic music, jam bands, funk, rock, and bluegrass, Gem & Jam Festival won’t disappoint. This festival just released the initial lineup for the 2018 fest and it is a thing of beauty. Three of my absolute favorite bands will be taking on this festival along with so many others.
Gem & Jam Festival is hosted every year during the world-renowned Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase providing the perfect opportunity for festival goers and gem enthusiasts to come together for a wonderful weekend for music and art. While the musical lineup for this festival is amazing, you can’t forget about all the talented artists that will be showcased at this festival. Various visual performers, live artists, workshops, and lectures will be set up throughout the festival grounds for all the festival goers to take part in. One of the great things about this festival is all of the camping options. You can either purchase a car camping pass, walk-in camping passes, and RV camping passes are available for the weekend. There are also bathrooms and water stations accessible throughout the festival grounds.
THIS YEARS LINEUP
Sound Tribe Sector 9 is hands down one of my favorite bands to watch live. STS9 has the ability to smoothly transition between songs and jam together as a singular unit. This combined with a stelar light show for their audience to get lost in makes them one of the best jam bands around today. This electronic jam band has an out of this world sound that has set them apart from other bands. Sound Tribe has headlined countless festivals and venues across the country including Red Rocks, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Hulaween, Resonance, and so many more since their formation in 1998. The best thing about this festival is that they will be playing two sets this weekend! STS9 definitely won’t disappoint as one of this years headliners!
We want the funk!!! And that’s exactly what we got! Lettuce, the masters of funk, is a band that I’ve been obsessed with ever since I first saw them perform two years ago. Formed in 1992, Lettuce has been bringing the funk for 25 years at iconic venues and festivals across the country. I’ve now watched Lettuce perform at What The Fest, The Werk Out, and Paradise On The Point and I have never once been disappointed! Their ability to flow from song to song and groove with one another gets the dance party started and puts a smile one everyone’s face. Lettuce will also be performing two sets this weekend and will add the perfect touch of funk to this weekend’s lineup!
Greensky Bluegrass is the perfect gateway band into the world of bluegrass for someone that isn’t sure about bluegrass music. Combining the traditional sound of stringed bluegrass music with the rule-breaking spirit of rock n roll, Greensky Bluegrass will put on a performance that will capture the attention of festival goers. Formed at the turn of the century in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Greensky have put their unique twist on bluegrass music at countless venues and festivals across the country including Bonnaroo, The Werk Out, Hulaween and Red Rocks Amphitheater. Greensky’s diverse sound and ability to improvise and flow from song to song as well as their light shows ensures that every performance is unique and mesmerizing. Greensky Bluegrass is the perfect twist for this festival!
The Dynamic Duo:
One of my favorite things about music festivals is the opportunity they provide for different musicians to come together on stage to collaborate for a unique set and some original songs. Bonnaroo’s iconic Super Jam is a perfect example of this. A few of my favorite festival collaborations are: Big Gigantic, Gramatik, and GRiZ have joining forces to form Big GRiZMATiK at Summer Camp. The Werks, Twiddle, and Dopapod formed Twerkapod for a tribute to the 90s set at The Werk Out. Big Gigantic, The String Cheese Incident, and The Disco Biscuits coming together as Gigantic Cheese Biscuits to headline Sonic Bloom Festival. Now Adam Dietch and Borham Lee of Break Science and Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits will unite once again as Breaking Biscuits to take on this years Gem & Jam Festival!
These bands are just the beginning of this fantastic lineup. Keep an eye out for other additions to this already stacked lineup! Don’t miss your chance to start of the 2018 festival season out on the right foot and see some of the best bands out there! See you all in Arizona!