However, there are hidden gems throughout Georgia that you need to know about.
Perhaps the most gorgeous of them is all the GEM Fest.
The GEM Fest is an electronic music festival that takes spiritual experiences to another level. The festival takes place in the shroud of the seaside town of Anakila, Georgia.
Some of the most popular DJs of the region will be performing, along with a slew of choreographers, and art designers. Because the GEM Fest in Georgia has become a global attraction, you can expect the global electronic-music family to be out in full force.
The GEM Fest is surrounded by the sea as well as the Enguri River. The mystical journey is said to be a spiritual experience and provides you with a festival you can’t, and won’t, forget.
The festival is extremely long, so expect to have a prolonged stay if you’re traveling.
If you’re looking for the details, you’ve found them.
Let’s dive in.
When and Where
In the past, GEM Fest has taken place within the summer months. Hot weather and a cool, ocean breeze is a combo you’ll find gripping your heart after attending.
There were cases when the festival lasted an insane amount of time. In fact, in 2017, the GEM Festival reached legendary heights when it kept going for a total of 32 days. That’s more than a month of some of the most positive energy known to man.
Beyond GEM Fest, Anaklia is known as a resort town along the coast of western Georgia. With or without GEM Fest, you’ll find Anaklia is a popular destination for travelers from around the world.
Back and Better Than Ever
In some ways, GEM Fest is relatively new to the music festival scene. In other ways, it has a deep-rooted history.
Before 2014, Anaklia wasn’t home to any festivals.
It wasn’t until Kazantip, an electronic music festival (typically held in Russia), had planned to bring the festival to Anaklia that they entered the world of electronic music festivals.
However, the legendary Kazantip was canceled. But, music isn’t something you can easily quit. The organizers of Kazantip and Exit Festival joined forces to create another festival to take its place. Partnering with the Georgian Government and Giorgi Sigua of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, the organizers created another festival. In other words, from the ashes of one music festival rose another.
Since 2015, GEM Fest has been taking place within the town.
From the beginning of its inception into Georgian culture, the GEM Fest has had ups and downs.
In 2017, the festival raged on for more than a month. It made headlines and provided a life-changing experience to all those who had the opportunity to attend.
While the festival was everything and more to some people, some locals didn’t share the same thought.
In 2018, due to backlash from local authorities, Gem Fest was canceled. This was due to the festival’s request for a license to host the event on land within the Black Sea resort, located in Anaklia. The first request was denied, while the second request was answered, as government officials chose to not take the time out of their day to respond.
Some speculate that local authorities were upset, given the previous year’s seemingly endless party. However, the real issue at hand was the festival’s use of state funding.
An anti-corruption probe was conducted but didn’t provide enough evidence to press any charges. This was still enough for the government as they decided to not financially support the festival in the future.
The organizers promised they planned to rebirth GEM Fest in the aftermath of the cancelation, and they have.
GEM Fest 2019 kicked off the following year in July to much success.
And, it’s coming back in 2020. The festival will be held for two months – from July 7, 2020, through September 8, 2020.
The Beauty of the GEM
So, what can you expect to do at GEM Fest? The answer? More than you could imagine.
The festival will have many different stages located throughout the festival’s mini-community. Each stage will light up the night, every night, with some of the best performers from around the globe.
Dozens of catering services will be spread out throughout the area so you can comfortably find food from any location. You should be prepared to stay awhile, you have plenty of time.
GEM City, the community which is built around the 2-month adventure, will be vibrant from the start until the end. The mini-city can accommodate up to 10,000 people. In other words, expect to enter a new city when you make a trip to GEM Fest.
Plus, that’s only 10,000 accommodated within GEM City. These are mostly campers in tents. If you’re interested, you can either bring your tent or the organizers will rent you one to use.
If camping isn’t your thing, but the best month of your life is, don’t worry. There are many accommodations in Georgia, and throughout the area, that you’ll be able to stay in. We’ll dive into that later.
The Current Lineup
You can expect some of the most famous and talented DJs and performers from around the world to perform at GEM Fest at one point or another.
While big names are sure to take the stage, GEM Fest is also an ideal spot to find new music and new styles throughout the scene. Besides the party of a lifetime, GEM Fest is also an opportunity for many newcomers to the electronic music scene.
You’ll find many hidden gems throughout the 2-month long festival. Some artists you may have never heard of, some artists may be known by almost the entire population of the planet. You’ll always find the real gems when you’re at GEM Fest.
Currently, there are 11 large performers slotted to play at GEM Fest.
- Paul Van Dyk
- MR Roussos
- Swanky Tunes
- Onur Ozer
- Andrea Ferlin
If you haven’t heard of these names yet, go check them out. You’ll quickly discover that GEM Fest is going to be everything you’ve imagined and so much more.
Off the bat, we can understand what style of music is going to be playing at the festival.
Given their current lineup, you can expect EDM, or Big Room, to be on deck from both Swanky Tunes and Efim Korbut.
Techno, or Tech House, will be in rotation from DOP, Cobert, Andrea Ferlin, and Onur Ozer.
Of course, House, and Deep House, are Anushka, Mr. Roussos, and GusGus’ forte. You’ll find the rhythmic tunes of theirs, as well as others, pulsing throughout the night
And, of course, no festival is complete without Trance sets being thrown into the mix. Paul Van Dyk and ATB are both well-known for their expertise and delivery of Trance music. You’ll find yourself lost into the night as the music takes you to another plane of reality.
Make Sure You’re Accommodated
Because this festival lasts for two months, you’ll need to be prepared to stay for a while if you want the best experience possible. This festival is more than just a few days in the night as you drink with your friends – it’s a spiritual experience. One weekend won’t do it justice, so make sure you’re planning on a longer stay to get the most out of your adventure.
Lucky for you, accommodations in Georgia are world-class. You also have the option of staying within GEM City, the famous community that is the GEM Festival.
Types of Tickets
There will be multiple passes that allow you entry into the GEM Festival. Each has its benefits, so make sure you’re choosing the one that is best for you.
There are multi-passes, full house passes, single entry passes, VIP passes, boarding passes, and eternal passes.
The multipass will allow you to enter and exit the festival area without any restrictions. No matter what event, or at what time, you can enter the festival.
A full house pass gives you the same rights as a multipass, except that it’s for those who choose to stay within GEM City.
A single-entry pass comes in the form of a bracelet. It’s only sold at the door of the festival, beginning on the day it opens. With this pass, the holder may only enter the festival area once. If you have this pass and leave, you won’t be allowed back in.
However, you can stay in the festival area as long as you like. This means you can purchase one single entry ticket and stay for a month if you manage to find a place to sleep.
Boarding passes are passes that also involve plane tickets for those coming from abroad. They include a two-person tent and a multipass.
Finally, eternal passes are for forever. That means, if you manage to acquire one, you can use it every GEM Festival, as many times as you want, for as long as you want. This pass can’t be transferred to anyone else within your lifetime, but maybe succeeded to someone else upon your passing. On top of allowing you to GEM Fest, you’ll also be granted admittance to any events organized by the GEM Fest team.
Other Accommodations in Georgia
If camping in GEM City doesn’t appeal to you, don’t fret.
There are many hotels and Air BnB houses in the surrounding area. There are also many smaller guest houses in, and around, Anaklia. These can be the perfect lodging for someone who wants the full experience of Gem Fest without having to sleep in a primitive environment.
Check out some Georgia hotels here.
Traveling to Anaklia may seem intimidating, especially to a foreigner.
But, accommodations in Georgia are widespread and you won’t have a difficult time finding a suitable travel arrangement to get you to GEM Fest.
Flights to Georgia are also reasonable and fairly straightforward if you’re coming from out of the country. You’ll find a variety of flexible flights that can take you to several destinations around the country. This can be great if you plan on traveling to Georgia for more than just the festival.
Beyond rental cars and flights, there are also trains and party buses that may suit your needs.
The party buses are meant for those who are wanting to have a wild time. Drinking, music, and a good time are to be expected when signing up for a party bus to one of the longest, and most epic, electronic music festivals in the world.
Trains may be more appropriate if you’re on a budget. Tickets are sold from Tbilisi or Kutaisi to Zugdidi. From Zugdidi, you can more than easily take a taxi to Anaklia. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, hitchhiking in the area is permitted as well.
Committing yourself to the journey that is GEM Fest can be intimidating. That’s why I’ve created some frequently asked questions to put your mind at ease.
Will there be Wi-Fi?
Yes, Wi-Fi will be provided throughout the festival and community
What to Not Bring In
The only thing not permitted into GEM Festival are sharp objects. This includes knives, scissors, and similar items.
Is Food Provided?
Food isn’t provided, but there is a food court located within GEM City that is open 24 hours/day. You’ll always be able to take the time to go fill up to fuel yourself for another night.
How To Charge Your Phone
Charging stations, specifically meant for your phone, will be provided throughout the area. You won’t need to worry about not being able to communicate with your loved ones.