The 2012 staging of the event, King has managed to focus intently on achieving that perfect balance of veterans and young acts to showcase reggae music during a year dedicated to Jamaica 50 celebrations.
Heading the line-up for the popular, one-night festival dedicated to conscious reggae music, is the man himself, lovers rock crooner, Hugh Beresford Hammond, or simply Beres, to the millions worldwide who adore him. In a recent interview with the Gleaner, King stated that, “Except for Buju, Beres is the artiste the fans request the most when I am putting together the line-up each year. I am just happy that I will be able to satisfy the fans.”
Each year, since the show’s inception some 24 years ago, patron satisfaction has been paramount. When the gates to the Paradise Park complex near Savanna-la-Mar in Westmoreland are opened on Saturday, April 14, there will be a slew of artistes to satisfy the hunger of reggae-loving fans. The poster for the event boasts big names such as the Queen of Reggae, Marcia Griffiths; captain of the Big Ship, Freddie McGregor; veteran deejay, Charlie Chaplin; reggae’s Messenjah, Luciano; Capleton the Fireman; the inimitable King Sounds and Levi Roots who offers what he terms The Levi Roots Experience. All of these acts have earned the respect associated with musical longevity and unmatched professionalism and they will be there to do what they do best — entertain.
With the theme of this year’s Western Consciousness being ‘Impacting Reggae’s New Generation’, the event will showcase the talents of reggae’s most impactful young artistes, who will have the challenge of proving their mettle. Representing for the nest generation will be Romaine Virgo, Duane Stephenson, Prophecy, Jah Vinci, Khago, Iba Mahr, Jah 9, Stream, C-Sharp, Iyablazze, I Noah and Droop Lion. Also integral to the lineup is reggae singer Iley Dread, who has reinvented himself with a name change to Chardavid.
The backing band, as usual, will be one of reggae’s premier bands, SANE (Sounds Against Negative Expressions) but they will be complemented by the talented C Sharp and Uprising Roots bands.
The show, which will have Cordel Green, DJ Linkage and Denise ‘Isis’ Miller as the emcees, has Courts Jamaica Limited, Big Ship Promotions, New York’s Linkage Radio, House of Leeds, House of Hits, James Lumber Yard, Levi Roots, Irie FM, John Swaby Productions, Unique Upholstering, On Stage, MD Tv, Rose Garden Nursing and Retirement Home, Impulse Energy Drink and Corporate Services Associates among the main sponsors.
The official launch of Western Consciousness, a King of Kings promotion, takes place on Wednesday, March 28 inside the Blue Mountain Suite of the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston. Start time is 6:30 pm.