Gem fest delivers
07 August, 2015
Gem fest delivers
Though this is the first time GEM Fest is held in Georgia , the festival fully holds its own in comparison to other, more established events, in terms of scale, quality and organization.

I personally spent three unforgettable nights in Anaklia and the coastal area of nearby Ganmukhuri, accompanied by the tasteful and high-quality electronic music, which was there to entertain us around the clock. DJs coming from 23 countries to play for you is no joke to begin with,
but it all culminated in a performance by Armin van Buuren, a famous Dutch DJ and recipient of the Buma Cultuur Pop Award, who is frequently called the father of electronic music. More than ten thousand people, locals and foreigners alike, held their collective breaths on July 31, waiting for the world-renowned DJ to appear. The performance, planned for 2 a.m. of August 1, began half an hour earlier than expected and lasted for the entire night. Judging by the audience’s reaction, quality electronic music is highly valued in Georgia and has quite a few enthusiasts and fans.

Preparations for GEM Fest began a few months prior. The 18 hectares allocated for the festival were changed beyond recognition over that time, sporting five stages as well as movie theaters and galleries. There was accommodation for visitors, local and foreign alike. The majority of foreign visitors found out about the festival via the internet. Tourists from Ukraine, Poland, Russia and European countries are likely to attend the festival next year as well.
However, despite all the praise, there was also a slight bit of disappointment, mainly from local inhabitants. They consider festivals such as this one to be a source of income, since the amount of vacation-makers in Anaklia and Ganmukhuri leaves a lot to be desired, and festivals usually attract them in droves. Many locals make money by renting out their homes to visitors, but frequently these homes do not satisfy even the most basic requirements, which ends up souring the visitors’ experience. An average price of 40 GEL per night, reasonable as it seems, often does not imply any kind of comfort, hence the reason why people visiting Anaklia prefer to book hotel rooms in advance instead. Even though they have to pay almost twice the aforementioned price in this case, the comfort level is considerably higher. As a result, only a few local residents managed to get tenants in their homes, which left the majority disappointed with the festival.
GEM Fest and associated events will be brought to a close on August 7.

Notably, people living in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia were given an opportunity to attend the festival for free.

Author: Irakli Akobia

Photo courtesy of Liu Photography

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