Kiss Tinder, Grindr, Hinge and every one of those matchmaking apps goodbye. Here is a festival that brings together the largest population of singles to ignite some love.
How many times have you ended up at a festival secretly wishing you meet someone interesting in the bargain! And truth be told, most single people at a festival would gladly want to be introduced to a special some. Except, there is an entire festival is Ireland which is making this happen as we speak. Singles, unite!
The 150-years-old Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in Ireland, as tradition commands, celebrates a month of the Irish matchmaking tradition, by calling out singles from all over the world to come participate in its more than a month long period of activities, all planned out to find someone their soulmate. This festival, taking place during the months of August and September involve dancing, hobnobbing with the only matchmaker in the city, LGBT celebrations, and country music enjoyment.
Matchmaking is a trait the Irish pride themselves on. Historically, matchmakers dominated society in a prevalent fashion when women started taking off the cities for employment. Parents of hopeful young ones would employ their help for getting their offspring a suitable partner. With modernisation, even though the practice of matchmaking is legitimately passé, the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival celebrates this very tradition as it attempts to bring together single people in celebration, that could let to fruitful unions.
Ireland has also been a country well versed with the idea of festivals, with an active festival culture thriving since a long time now. Combining this love for music and matchmaking is the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival which continues to bring in attention 150 years since its inception!
Willie, The Matchmaker
Of the traditional group of matchmakers that dominated the Irish romantic scene of the ages, the only one kicking the tradition alive is Willie, the Matchmaker, the only known one to still practice the tradition, and quite easily the oldest.
Willie is a professional matchmaker, who carries book records of thousands of people that register with him. He carries, what he calls a ‘lucky book’, an entry in which can guarantee a union for prospective lovelorn people. Willie is most in demand during the festival, when the frenzy around the tradition reaches new highs.
The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, while not so much invested in the practice of matchmaking, is an event that fosters social gathering and interaction, the outtakes of which is people finding people they can be with. Through this, the festival is heavily invested in promoting Irish culture, through music and revelry, as more than 40,000 people attend the festival during its most active phase.
As Willie puts it –
It’s very social. In the beginning it starts fairly slowly then it heightens up in the night. It’s a great opportunity for people to meet others.
English men love Irish women. It’s because they are natural, voluptuous, are very good looking, have lovely eyes and are great fun.
People come up to me on the street and ask me to introduce them to this one and that one… I don’t mind though.
The festival organises dances at the city’s various pubs, which start from as early as noon, and go on till the wee hours of next morning.
Due the numerous activities scheduled, the festival has become one of Europe’s most prominent events in the annual festival calendar. While finding a spouse is a but a minisicule part of it, the festival does more to increase bonhomie, than anything else.
Of the month long celebration, three days of the festival are reserved for country music. This year, from the 28th to the 31st of August, country stars like Robert Mizzell & The Country Kings, Michael Collins, T R Dallas will all be heading to the quaint town for some musical respite to the revelers.
In the month of May this year Ireland created history by legalising same-sex marriage. Except, The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival has been recognising same-sex partnerships for a long time with its LGBT matchmaking parties, which often turn into positive reinforcements of equality.
For people wishing to experience Irish culture up close, the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is a treat. It is not only a spectacle of music, art and culture, but it also strives to bring people together in sociability, friendship and revelry.
(all images sourced from: Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival Facebook)