Excitement is rapidly rising for Donegal’s first Jamboree in the Park this Saturday, and it’s not just the attendees who can’t wait for the country festival.
Cliona Hagan, the new princess of Irish County, is counting down the days to the Letterkenny Jamboree, where she and her band join a lineup that boasts the best of Irish Country talent.
Donegal Woman caught up with Cliona last week, fresh from two days of R&R at a spa resort in Antrim.
The fast-rising star took a well-earned break in between a run of back-to-back show dates. The Co. Tyrone native has been flitting all over the island recently, but is most looking forward to visiting Donegal again for the Jamboree in the Park.
“I love getting down to Donegal. It’s such a beautiful place with gorgeous scenery. There is such a relaxed way of life there. It’s such a lovely place for food and entertainment. It’s always like a mini holiday when I go,” she said.
The home crowd in Donegal is always a pleasure to sing for, Cliona said.
“The reaction I get back from a Donegal crowd is so amazing. They’re a crowd that would get up and dance and enjoy themselves, they’re always so friendly. When we’re on stage, it may look easy but we’re all working so hard. Everyone is so interactive in Donegal.”
Letterkenny’s first Jamboree in the Park on May 20th is set to be a massive outdoor country music festival that will bring thousands of country music fans to the town.
Cliona herself is excited to experience the open air event.
“I love the whole energy of being outside, the whole atmosphere is great. I’ve played at about 16 festivals last year, which was really cool as I am only really starting out.”
Cliona will be joining the stellar line-up of Country Music stars including Nathan Carter, Mike Denver, Marty Mone, Jake Carter and The Logues. As these big names come together it’s sure to be a special event.
“I know everyone so well. Even though it’s getting to be a bigger circuit I see the same faces,” she said.
Despite starting out as a young opera singer, the 27-year-old has fast become a well-known voice in the Irish County world. Her debut studio album Straight To You remains a popular favourite since its release in 2016.
Fans can expect to hear all the best hits from the record, and we asked Cliona if they expect any surprises from her set at the big event in Letterkenny.
“They can expect to see us really enjoying ourselves out there. Me and the boys might be throwing a few shapes – they might not be the best moves but we’ll be trying our best!”
“The boys love to wind me up and I’m desperate with comebacks. We’ll be dancing away… stupidly probably!” she joked.
Donegal will always have a special place in Cliona’s heart. She and her band had their first launch in May last year in the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran. This memorable night and the warmth she felt from the locals has stayed with her as a highlight in her career.
“I was so nervous then to get up and sing a full set. It was scary starting off and trying to find my way through the country music scene, but it was a huge success and it turned out to be the best night ever,” she recalled.
The Letterkenny Jamboree in the Park is going to be a peak point at to start Cliona’s summer as she embarks on the festival circuit. She will also begin a new pursuit as one of the stars of the famous Summer Cabaret at Harvey’s Point in Donegal.
“I’ll be in Donegal next week for the promo launch of the Cabaret. I can’t wait. I like to push myself to the limit so it will be fun every Wednesday to do this,” she said.
Cliona’s summer calendar is filling up with US shows in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. She will also be doing gigs in Spain with Nathan Carter On The Costa and the Three Amigos.
It sounds exhausting, but she’s clearly loving it all. After her spa break she was back on the road last weekend for more shows before her trip to Donegal this week. “I don’t know what sleep is anymore!” she admits.
“I get this surge of energy and the adrenaline kicks in. I come alive on stage. I can’t wait for the Jamboree now, I’m counting down the days!”
If you want to see Cliona and her band, as well as a stellar line-up of artists perform at the Jamboree in the Park Letterkenny, get your tickets now on ajspromotions.com.
For more information call 048 8225 2800 or visit Facebook /JamboreeLetterkenny to find out where all the local ticket outlets are in Donegal.