While the Festival has very much come of age over the years, moving with the times to appeal to people of all ages – its essence as a place to ‘meet, match and make a life’ remains true.
Matchmaking is an Irish tradition that’s as old as time. It began in Lisdoonvarna when visiting gentry came to ‘take the waters’ at this spa town and looked to match their children with someone suitable from the upper classes. Parents would bring their children together at social gatherings, sporting events and musical evenings – and all being well, courtships would blossom.
The opening of the West Clare Railway in 1887 meant Lisdoonvarna increased in popularity as a tourist destination and the matchmaking tradition grew. With the harvest safely in and September being the peak holiday month, many bachelor farmers began to flock to Lisdoonvarna for a spa town vacation – and in search of a wife.
Where music’s played and matches are made
“Love is waiting there for everyone, it’s there just waiting to be found. When it is, it’s a lovely feeling.” Matchmaker, Willie Daly
The streets ring out with music and song, buzzing with dance, the craic and love for life. Bars and pubs headline some of the top names in country music, and from dance floor to cosy table, the little town of Lisdoonvarna in the west of Ireland is full of the promise and passion of ‘meeting your match’. This is the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival – the biggest event of its kind in Europe and part of the rich tradition of rural Ireland. A chance to gather and celebrate life, love, good music and great times! This year, some 40 000 people will once more take their place at the Festival – for six weekends of fun, party, music and romance – make sure YOU are one them…