Megan McKenna opens inaugural Dixie Fields Festival

Megan McKenna opens inaugural Dixie Fields Festival

Essex Girl Megan to wow the crowds at the first Essex Country Music Festival.

Opening Saturday July 13th at the first ever Dixie Fields Festival, near Hylands Park, Chelmsford, is archetypal Essex girl Megan McKenna. Megan’s not afraid to say she loves the county of her birth, much like the family who are running the festival. She was born in Barking in 1992 and can look back at a ‘proper East Ender’ background. Her family moved out to South Woodford where Megan went to school – first happily, then not. She was glad to get away to specialist art and drama school, but it was the support of her loyal Essex family that kept her there and she’s never missed a chance to acknowledge how much they mean to her.   Recently Megan’s built a house in Essex and despite her frequent trips to Nashville and exotic locations for her reality TV work, Essex, she says, is the place she’s ‘never going to leave’.

 

Megan McKenna, Singer-Songwriter

Music’s been part of Megan’s life as long as she can remember. It was at an audition when she was really young that she was first told she had ‘a country voice’.  But who could then have foreseen the sensational popularity of the UK country music scene — or that in 2019 Megan would be opening the first true country  music festival in her home county of Essex?  When Megan released her first single ‘High Heeled Shoes’ in September 2017 it went straight to the top of the iTunes charts. Her debut album Story of Me, released in December 2018, peaked at number 6 on the UK Country Music charts. So, who could be a more defiant choice to open the first full day of the first true country music festival to be held in Essex?

Ok, the idyllic rural location of the Dixie Fields Festival is some way from the nightclubs, restaurants and shops of Metropolitan Essex but music always has the power to take you that extra mile and country music in particular to cross boundaries. Because Essex is not all about girls with spray tans wearing high heeled shoes getting drunk and getting into fights. It’s a good bit more complicated than that. You may think you know all there is to know about Megan McKenna from Reality TV shows such as Ex on the Beach, Celebrity Big Brother and TOWIE itself. You’ve read the coverage in the tabloids and you’re part of her massive social media following. But how close does that get you to the little girl who learned the violin in primary school, or who has so many happy memories of sitting by a lake fishing with her grandad?

At Dixie Fields we’ve been reading Megan’s autobiography, Mouthy. It was published last year by John Blake Books and gives real insight into her struggles with coeliac disease and the misery of being bullied in secondary school. There’s another side to Megan McKenna. She doesn’t deny her ‘Psycho Meg’ moments – nor how her following went up when she ripped off at housemates or fellow reality TV stars, but she puts it in a context. She’s shrewd about the way situations are manipulated for greatest dramatic effect. She’s also learned to analyse why she has her meltdowns and maybe also why she’s become an icon for many other girls: ‘I think I was saying stuff they wished they could say themselves’.

We think Mouthy was a great title for Megan’s book. Not just for the obvious reasons (like those famous pouty lips) but because she’s really got a great singing voice. She tells a story of her West End debut, billed with people she would ‘pay to see perform’. She was in TOWIE at the time and there were many people in the audience who wondered what she was doing on this stage. ‘But when I got out there and opened my mouth, the atmosphere completely changed…’

That’s what we can’t wait to see on Saturday July 13th: Megan in her home county, Megan at a family-run festival, Megan with a full backing band. Bring it on, Megan, open up and sing your heart out, like a proper Essex girl.

 

You can buy tickets here to see Megan McKenna and other great artists perform at the Dixie Fields Festival, on July 12th and 13th located near Chelmsford, Essex.

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