The Outing at Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

The Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival is a long running tradition in Co. Clare. Originating in 1859, this festival was the one stop shop to find a lovely lass or a fine farmer if you were single.

The tradition began with the the Spa Hotel. Lisdoonvarna became known for its health benefits due to the highly mineralised content in the water. This saw hoards of people travelling to ease the pain of illnesses, such as rheumatism and glandular fever. This attraction was enhanced with the opening of the West Clare Railway, which only increased the popularity of the Spa. This eventually led to the establishment of the matchmaking festival.


Statues in the main square, Lisdoonvarna

Nowadays, the matchmaking and music festival runs over five weekends. In 2013 (for the first time) and every year since, The Outing took place on the first weekend of the festival. The Outing is aimed at the LGBT community, hoping to match you with the love of your life. This year, The Outing is taking place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of October. This weekend is not limited to members of the LGBT community, but welcomes everyone to partake in the fun, music and entertainment and spread the message “It’s All About Love”.

Along with the matchmaking, you’ll have speed dating, a masquerade ball, céilís and blind dates! There will also be guest appearances, including Panti, Jonny Woo, Le Gateau Chocolat and a performance from B*witched. And for those not looking for love, there is plenty of entertainment and activities to get involved in!

The local activities this year include

  • Surfing at Lahinch
  • Kayaking on the river
  • Rockclimbing
  • Hawk walks at the Burren Birds of Prey
  • Visiting the Cliffs of Moher
  • Ted Tours (for Father Ted fanatics)
  • And the Love Boat with The Doolin Ferry!

Check out all the activities and how to book them on the website

This isn’t the kind of festival that requires tents!


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