TURMOIL in some of St James' inner-city areas weighed on Worrell King's mind when he decided to move his Western Consciouness show to that parish this year.
The 25th renewal of the event is scheduled for April 13 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
For King, who was born in the district of Orange on the outskirts of Montego Bay, Western Consciousness's positive vibrations can help heal these violence-plagued communities.
"People know Montego Bay as the friendly city, but that hasn't been the case in some places. We believe the potency of Western Consciouness can help bring back that friendliness," King told Splash.
For nearly 20 years, gang feuds in gritty communities like Flanker, Norwood and Salem (which are close to Montego Bay) have made St James one of the most violent parishes in Jamaica.
The Montego Bay Sports Complex is Western Consciousness's third home. It started in 1989 at the Llandilo Culture Centre in Westmoreland where it stayed for 19 years before moving to Paradise Park, also in that parish.
While there is a new venue, King says the show's theme of cultural awareness stands.
"It's our estimation that the music is being left to people with no understanding of what reggae is. We have a show that highlights reggae and artistes who prove that it's still alive," he said.
Several of the artistes who form the neo-roots movement including Iba Mahr, Jesse Jendau and Nature are part of the 2013 Western Consciousness roster, alongside veterans John Holt, Horace Andy, Marcia Griffiths and Mutabaruka.
Singer Kenyatta Hill, son of roots-reggae icon Joseph 'Culture' Hill, will perform a tribute to his father, who died in 2006.