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.
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.
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 small town of Lisdoonvarna in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland is located 40 minutes by car from Shannon International airport. Of course, like other festivals, the Lisdoonvarna festival was cancelled due to public health concerns. Along with revealing the old secrets that can still lead to finding love in the 21st century, Willie made us laugh and cry, regaling us with stories, and also sang a song and played the tin whistle.