Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival 2019. Fed up with Tinder? Try Europe’s biggest singles festival with lots of country music and booze. Share. Photo by The festival has been run for over 160 years and is one of the oldest music events in Ireland. © www.matchmakerireland.com. The music lineup mostly includes country. There's a big stage for younger crowds with DJs and some big names. But also there’s daily music and more traditional Irish dancing in every bar for older people. During the festival, everyone can meet Ireland’s most famous matchmaker Willie Daly in his ‘office' in the Matchmaker Bar. The place also has a legendary matchmaking book. Supposedly, if you touch it with both hands, you’ll be married in six months! © www.match .
The biggest stars of the Irish country music scene will headline one of Ireland’s oldest festivals - ‘Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in September. Lisa McHugh; Declan Nerney and Gerry Guthrie, will perform on the opening weekend of the festival on the 31st August to 1st September followed by other acts including Mike Denver; Derek Ryan and Cliona Hagan on the 7th and 8th September at the Marquee. Speaking about the festival, Marcus White, Managing Director of the White Hotel Group said: “The country music events are now in their third year at Lisdoonvarna and have been hugely successful.
They have really revitalised the festival and brought a whole new younger audience to the events. It’s really put us back on the map in a big way.” International attendees The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is running for over 160 years old and takes place over a five-week-period; it attracts over 80,000 people from all over the world who come for the music, the dancing and to meet third-generation matchmaker Willie Daly.
“It’s a unique festival not only in Ireland but internationally, as people are still intrigued by the ancient tradition of matchmaking, in a world where online dating has become so popular.” Mr White added. Line-up This year’s festival is jam-packed with entertainment; with music and dancing in all venues in every day in September from 11am in the morning to late.
The traditional dance weekends are on the 14th-16th September, 21nd -23rd September and 28th - 30th September featuring some of Ireland’s leading show bands who will play at the Hydro and Imperial Hotels. These include Teddy and Cathal Barry; Outa Diesel; Blue Ridge Country; the Moynihan Brothers; Michael Sexton; Pat Dowling and the Lisdoonvarna Showband.
Ireland’s top soul singer Buck Taylor is also back. The popular tea dances at the historic Spa Wells are back again this year between 12-2pm with Larry McEvoy and his band. More information The Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival kicks off on the 31st August and runs for five weeks until the 30th September.
For tickets for the country music events click and for general information, see. The Festival is sponsored by Clare County Council and Failte Ireland. Image source: Photo:
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Forget about Internet dating. That can produce a deeper loneliness when clicking on anonymous photos. But at the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, it's the chemistry of a face-to-face introduction that turns wishful thinking into a possible mate. Add in non-stop dancing with flowing Guinness (and racing hormones since the men outnumber the women) and it's no wonder the festival has lasted for about 150 years.
One of Ireland's oldest traditions is matchmaking. And it's done openly in Lisdoonvarna for five weeks in the fall and for multitudes of singles. The village is located in County Clare, on the West Coast, with a population around 750 people. During festival time in September, that number swells to the thousands with visitors from around the world.
Typically, people age 50 and up populate the mid-day and early-evening events; younger ages jam the venues until 3:00 a.m. Lisdoonvarna was already famous for its therapeutic sulphur-and-iron well water found here in the 1700s. A spa once operated on site where many bathed in the water. But the farmers in surrounding towns saw Lisdoonvarna differently. In the early 1900s with the harvest over and dowry in hand, they brought their daughters to town looking for a potential husband.
Years later, the is still in vogue as men and women of all ages arrive from the surrounding area and international locations to look for a mate. Yet, the event is still looked upon as a local folk festival despite the numerous outsiders. Willie Daly inherited his matchmaking skills from his father and grandfather. He himself has seven children, is divorced, a farmer by trade and horse-farm owner with a riding school. He's also the festival's star attraction. Most nights he holds court in a small front room at The Matchmaker Bar where he sits at a table with a 100-year-old, family-owned matchmaker's ledger.
Some of its pages are curled from age. Others are stuffed with poems, photos and love-seeker applications, both old and new. If Willie's not there, a family member fills in. Women sign up for free; men pay around 20 euros for the privilege. Most of Willie's "matches" occur post-event. although he might corral a potential couple onto the dance floor the same night they sign up. "If you find love and happiness, it's like finding a gold mine," Willie said to filmmaker Peter Kinvara at a recent festival.
"But love is more important since gold is cold and love is warm." He's a great believer in opposites that attract and believes some of his matches did turn into marriage. Married or not, many couples who met at the festival return each year to celebrate their good fortune.
The village has one main street. The three-star Hydro Hotel has 110 en suite rooms within its 1800s-style architecture. The Imperial is home to The Matchmaker Bar, which is the festival's epicenter. The Ritz Hotel is located at the main square.
To get away from the buzz, head for the 12-room located on a peaceful hilltop with lovely views of the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.
If a love match isn't made at Lisdoonvarna, the dancing is worth the trip. Non-stop music begins at noon and continues throughout the night at 17 music and dance venues. Men are not shy about asking a partner to dance. Women also dance together to keep the dance floor hopping. "Irish men are dancing fools," one local said recently while watching his friends dance at the Hydro Hotel. "We practice all year with the cows." Be aware of the occasional unsavory character, married man out for the night, escorts, farmers who don't bathe and some thievery at the festival.
On the lighter side, the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival represents hope, joy, fun and great dancing. If a mate isn't found, the huge number of attendees of all ages know they're not alone looking for love.
Lisdoonvarna is located in County Clare on Ireland's West Coast, 45 minutes from Shannon Airport. It's a three-hour drive from Dublin. Nearby Ennis and Galway are served by rail. For specific information about Lisdoonvarna, click . For more information about Ireland in general, contact the .
Gardens Overview Lisdoonvarna is a small spa town in Ireland, home to well under 1,000 residents. But each September, more than 40,000 eligible Irish farmers descend on this little village. This matchmaking festival is Europe’s largest singles event, and it has been in the making for more than 200 years. It’s a veritable love fest. During the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, romantic hopefuls meet up under the guidance of local love guru, Willie Daly.
He’s a third-generation matchmaker, and many say that he is the last of his kind in Ireland. He’s one of a long line of men who both trade horses and broker marriages – an unlikely but not entirely inconceivable combination. Matchmaking is an ancient tradition in Ireland. It began in Lisdoonvarna after the town became famous in the late 1700s for its mineral springs.
In those days, lonely farmers would caravan down to the town in September, after all of their crops had been brought in for the year. Local matchmakers introduced them to eligible candidates, and a robust tradition was born. Matchmaking: An Evolving Tradition in Ireland Men greatly outnumber women at this event, and many of them really are farmers, even today.
That said, women make a strong showing here. In the past few years, internationally acclaimed singer, Sinéad O’Connor, came in search of love. Willie Daly also says he’s currently being contacted by a number of Chinese nationals hoping to find love with an Irish farmer.
It’s a worldwide event. The matchmaking process has changed over the years. Daly explains that, centuries before, eligible men came with their mothers, who actually did most of the talking. Today, potential lovers meet at one of the daily dances staged for the entire month of September and the early part of October. These social events continue on until 2 a.m. each night, giving potential matches plenty of time to get to know each other.
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Lisdoonvarna 2016 Match Making Festival