Gem & Jam: Maddy O’Neal, Opiuo, More Reflect On Favorite Festival Memories

Once you attend Gem & Jam Festival, you’ll understand why it’s called the “Crown Jewel of the Southwest Festival Scene.”

Along with hosting three days of a diverse blend of electronic and jam artists in the scenic desert of Tucson, Arizona, the festival also presents a whole scene surrounding a world-renowned gem and mineral showcase.

Slated for February 4th to 6th, this year’s lineup will feature performances from electronica group Lotus, electro-funk trio SunSquabi, bass music producer Maddy O’Neal, Dirtybird co-founder Claude VonStroke, and more.

With just a month remaining until the festival’s 14th celebration, asked some of Gem & Jam Festival veterans, “What’s your favorite memory of the festival and what is a set from another act that blew you away?”


maddy, maddy o'neal

I think it was in 2018, when I played the late night indoor stage at 3 or 4 in the morning. The energy and vibe in the room, at that hour, was pretty incredible. Everyone was locked in and I felt like I could get a little extra weird with it.

Emancipator, Lettuce, and Opiuo are all sets that definitely stand out in my mind. Gem & Jam is definitely one of those festivals that feels like home, and it’s amazing to see all my friends after a year or fall tour away from each other. It's so rad to see how your fellow artist friends have evolved and leveled up their shows.


Project aspect

My best G&J memories were my shows at the sold-out late nights. There’s something about after-parties that have a certain chillness/energy to them. I love it.

I remember the last time Lotus played I took so many Snapchats of them from backstage. It felt like they put on a particularly good set that night. Also seeing Mimosa perform for the first time in years was pretty cool. He tore it up unexpectedly.

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Our favorite memory of Gem and Jam was probably from 2015 when we first got to perform there. It was a big coming up year and all of our friends were at the festival.

We'll never forget watching Papadosio in 2018 as one of our favorite live sets we've seen. But the best part about Gem and Jam is all the artist friends that we always get to see perform. Family hangs in the desert are the best.



The intense, incredible energy from the crowd following my every move while artists painted and danced like crazy on stage.

I played at Gem & Jam back in 2017, and G Jones was the next artist to perform on my stage. It was such a killer set!



This is our second appearance at Gem & Jam. We rolled through in the middle of a large national bus tour, and I remember Gramatik played a great set that year. Looking forward to getting back to Arizona.

We rolled through in the middle of a large national bus tour, but I remember Gramatik played a great set that year. Looking forward to getting back to Arizona.

GA and VIP Tickets are now on sale here