Lisdoonvarna is a small spa town in Ireland, home to well under 1, residents. But each September, more than 40, eligible Irish farmers descend on this little village. During the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, romantic hopefuls meet up under the guidance of local love guru, Willie Daly. Matchmaking is an ancient tradition in Ireland. It began in Lisdoonvarna after the town became famous in the late s 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.
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival 2020
The month-long festival takes place in Lisdoonvarna, just over 7km from Doolin Village — easily reached by car, bus or taxi. Click here to view Accommodation in Doolin. Please tick the box below that you give us permission to use your name and email to send you our newsletters by email. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails.
“For me it’s a feeling,” says Mr. Daly, the most famous matchmaker working at the festival, who describes his matchmaking as largely based on.
Culture Trip stands with Black Lives Matter. Far from the world of Tinder, the lively Dublin nightlife scene, and almost any other modern-day take on romance you care to mention, Lisdoonvarna hosts an annual autumn festival aimed, traditionally, at helping lonely rural farmers to meet a match from outside their immediate area. Despite being viewed as something of a beloved national joke, however, Lisdoonvarna has modernised substantially in recent years.
The town has always been a tourist spot, almost exclusively because of its spa water, which offers the other main attraction aside from the festival. Another way of putting that is that the festival runs for over 12 hours a day, for the best part of a month. Back then, matchmaking was a far more serious undertaking; one that operated during a lull in a busy year of manual labour, and represented a rare chance for people in the area to meet eligible partners from outside their own small communities.
With impressive numbers of attendees in recent years, the festival has become one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Around 40, people typically attend over six weekends of the festival, with modest matches made by matchmaker Willie Daly from the hub, the Matchmaker Bar. Of course, the festival has changed substantially since , as has Ireland itself. There have, however, been some recent issues around the matchmaking side of the festival. In , organisers struggled to attract enough men to the event , and drew complaints from attendees as a result.
Should you expect anything genuine to come from it? You should book as far ahead as possible; finding accommodation in such a small town is difficult, and most people find themselves having to travel from elsewhere — such as nearby towns Doolin and Kilfenora — for the events.
Matchmakers Festival in Ireland
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In the hopeless hellscape of , a year-old matchmaking event survives in a village in the west of Ireland. Lisdoonvarna is home to approximately people, but in September the village expands by over times as 80, people attend the five-week long Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. It attracts singletons between 18 and 80 years old from all over Ireland and a contingency from elsewhere.
Every day of the month, from 11AM to 2AM, 15 venues across the one-street town offer dancing — predominantly jive, set-dancing and whatever you do to wedding-pop. In the age of dating apps , ” girlfriend experiences ” and Ashley Madison , the event seems an extraordinary anachronism. Lisdoonvarna now bills itself as both a matchmaking and a country-western music event. In recent years, jive dancing has had a notable resurgence among young people in rural Ireland, but show bands and country music have long been a part of the festival because that kind of music lends itself to the set dancing.
The dancing — I am told over and again — and the craic are what bring the thousands of people and facilitate the romance. Lisdoonvarna is a time warp. It’s as if time has stood still. A third generation “traditional Irish matchmaker”, Willie Daly is the face of Lisdoonvarna, and maker of over 3, matches. Every time I called to see where he was or when suited to meet for our interview, he assured me that he had a man for me who was tall and handsome from the back.
Along the road to the village you will see his white-bearded face on colourful billboards, and on the roads to his home in nearby Ennistymon, you will see his hand-painted signs. They read variations of “Donkey Farm Matchmaking Museum” because Willie’s house, next door to the one in which he was raised, is a donkey farm as well as his matchmaking home-office.
A Matchmaker and a Festival Keep an Irish Tradition Alive
By Sarah Finnan. Drawing tens of thousands of people each year, the annual Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is a big hit with both locals and tourists in search of love. Due to take place this September, organisers have made the decision to cancel this summer’s event in light of current circumstances. Over years old, the festival is a highlight on the county’s events calendar but with Covid still at the fore in people’s minds, organisers were left with little choice but to cancel.
Everything you dreamed that Ireland would be – and more. The beauty of the Cliffs of Moher is that they offer us a totally multi-faceted experience of Ireland’s.
But nowadays, for the month of September and early October, this small town in the west of Ireland is infamous as the place to come for love. With literally thousands of new partners to choose from, music and dance can start as early as So September seems to be the month for old time country dancing and romancing! People come from all parts of the world to take part in the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival.
Wiilie is over 45 years making matches including 3, marriages so he must be doing something right…. Many lovebirds make their way to Doolin Pier for a break from the dancing, and take a trip to the Aran Islands or maybe a romantic cruise to the Cliffs of Moher — surely a match made in heaven.. Select Your Trip.
The one that got away? Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival cancelled this year
The event in Co Clare, which attracts tens of thousands of attendees every year, was expected to take place in September. Mr Daly is believed to have set up around 3, marriages since he took over the matchmaking business from his father in the s. Organisers of the festival confirmed the decision today and have booked the same acts to perform next year.
In a statement to local radio station Clare FM, they said the decision is regrettable, but that their primary responsibility is to protect the health and safety of the local community as well as staff, artists, suppliers and visitors. Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox. Popular matchmaking festival cancelled in Lisdoonvarna Matchmaker Willie Daly with his book of contacts at home near Ennistymon, Co Clare.
It is not only people looking for a partner who crowded the dance floor, but.
Is it just like any other bar scene — see someone you want to talk to, strike up a conversation and maybe ask to dance at some point?? Also, I’ve heard the live music might be country western – am I hoping too much to expect live Irish music? Hoping for some input, and thank you for reading. If you are into the country music scene then don’t forget to bring your cowboy boots and hat and you are sure to attract all the right attention.
It’s worth a wander over from Doolin since you’re in the area; it’s just a few minutes away. My friends and I found it just a bit “hokey” a few years back when we visited.
All Loved Up – Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
The world famous Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival draws huge crowds of over 20, people to the busy pubs and hotels every year during the whole.
This video gives something of the flavour of the event. Dancing and music beginning most days at noon or earlier and continuing non-stop into the small hours of the morning. Age is definitely no barrier — those attending range from 18 to 80, and the older participants are regularly the first up and last to stagger home to bed late at night. The best known of the matchmakers is Willie Daly, who deals in horses when not dealing in love and who claims to have been instrumental in getting hundreds, if not thousands, of couples to the altar.
Do NOT go expecting a sophisticated or upmarket event. Some nods to change are incorporated — there are speed-dating events these days — but mostly the modus operandi is to provide lots of opportunities for people to get together at dances, sessions and in the pubs. Each weekend the events are focused on some activity, from horse racing on the opening weekend, country music the following one, three weekends devoted to dancing then the final fling where the Queen of the Burren and Mr Lisdoonvarna are crowned.
A South African widow is selling her home and business in Johannesburg and travelling 10, kilometres to the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival to find love. Marleze Kruger completed the sale of her South African home this week and is planning to sell her guesthouse and other properties in August, just before she travels to Clare to When Willie Daly first started out in the matchmaking business some 50 years ago, many of his clients were older men seeking young women.
The post What do men want? Directions to. Matchmaking in progress, by fyunkie.
Lisdoonvarna Match Making Festival 2020
The huge attraction of Lisdoonvarna in the old days was that it was a spa town and reports of its waters and their benefits date back as far as The spa twin wells are located on the banks of the River Aille. The Lisdoonvarna waters come from an unusual source, as both sulfur and iron water gush from the same rock.
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival – Main Street, Lisdoonvarna, Ireland Rock/Folk Weekend – Hermitage Green, Riptide Movement, The Stunning, All Folk’d.
Years ago, I saw a movie about a matchmaking festival in Ireland, which led me to book a trip to Lisdoonvarna in September. I wasn’t sure where to go so I reached out to Julie, Media person for the festival and she directed me to the Hydro Hotel. I’m so glad she did. I was there for six nights. Breakfast was included with my room and it was pretty tasty. Staff gladly modified breakfast to suit my needs. Room was clean – basic standard room, no fridge but there is a tv with limited channels.
By the end of my stay, I definitely felt like “family”. Town is small so hotel is within walking distance of everything. Bus is accessible and can take you cheaply to Galway, Limerick, etc get roundtrip fare – it’s cheaper. For US guests, might be hard to use your debit card in town unless it’s chip and Mastercard so get a card with low or no fees before you go.
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaker Festival 2020
Like the one about the man who fell to his knees in front of a woman, followed her to the altar and only later admitted that he had not meant to propose — it had been a long night, and he had tripped. Or the one about a woman whose potential suitors kept hanging up after asking her age, until Mr. Daly advised her to say she was young at heart. After that, the year-old widow enjoyed two months of delightful conversation before dying.
Daly — who thinks he is in his early 70s but does not know precisely because, he says, the priest who kept such records drank a lot — has been thinking about love most of his life. While the festival is on, Mr.
Willie Daly is one of Ireland’s last traditional matchmakers, best known for presiding over an annual matchmaking festival in the western village.
Find love in Lisdoonvarna, Ireland, in September. Photo: couple-playing image by JulianMay. Single people know that finding a romantic partner is more likely at some places than others, but most also know it’s never an easy thing. In Ireland, one little town tries to make things a little simpler by holding a monthlong festival aimed at love.
During the other 11 months, visitors to Lisdoonvarna come for relaxation and pampering: The town of fewer than 1, people has earned its reputation as a spa town thanks to the number of natural mineral springs in the area. Some festival-goers still come to find love, and events like speed-dating and dances promote the idea, but many people also just come to celebrate love and life without expecting to go home with a mate. Although 40, visitors make their ways to the Matchmakers Festival in Lisdoonvarna each September, most are out-of-towners, according to the Tour Clare website.
So How Does Meeting People at the Matchmaking Festival Work? – Lisdoonvarna Forum
We hope that that the government will start easing social distancing restrictions once it is safe to do so in the coming weeks. It would be impossible in a place like Lisdoonvarna, where pubs are crowded and intimate dancing is one of the main attractions. Mr White said that while it was positive news that hotels can resume trading at the end of June, it was unlikely he would reopen his hotels then.
Last year we brought in , bed nights into the country from overseas which in turn supports airlines, hotel companies like the Dalata group as well as a host of smaller tourism ventures across Ireland.
The festival was established as there was a shortage of single women in the area and a surplus of bachelor farmers. The matchmaker himself, Willie Daly, meets.
Rate or Review. Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is the biggest event of its kind in Europe and part of the rich tradition of rural Ireland. The festival features live music and dancing with the performances by the very best names in traditional country music. The first two weekends both have an amazing line up of live country music acts and the final three weekends are dedicated to music and dancing, with even more events planned for mid-week.
The location and the festival itself are a unique event that everyone should experience at least once! Coronavirus is causing a number of event cancellations; we provide event website links on each page for you to check the latest updates. See our Coronavirus page here.