Traditional Dating Festival Looks to Connect Rural Irish Singles

A traditional matchmaking event that aims to connect single men and women in rural Ireland is set to return on 30th August.

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival runs over five weekends and features performances from local country music stars. However, the main attraction is the opportunity to meet other singles face-to-face in a part of the country with limited internet connectivity.

The festival has different venues all hosting a variety of activities, such as speed-dating and dancing, as well as romantic trips to the area’s historic spa wells.

The small village has a long tradition of matchmaking, and the festival regularly attracts over 40,000 visitors.

Willie Daly is a third-generation matchmaker and meets singles at ‘The Matchmaker Bar’ to help them find their perfect partner.

He told “Tinder and other dating apps are done through a machine and that can be cold and emotionless. In traditional matchmaking you look into each other’s eyes, and reach out and touch the other person. 

“Matchmaking doesn’t stop at any age, even if you are 50 or 60 or more doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t like to have companionship or friendship and find someone you can relate to and talk to.”

While many aspects of the festival have been modernised, Daly remains true to traditional methods and claims he never uses a computer. Throughout his 50 years in the business, he estimates that he’s been responsible for 3,000 marriages.

In June this year, a number of UK-based online dating startups were left out of pocket when ‘The Dating Show Live‘ collapsed. BareOblivioPiin and Old Style Dating had all paid to exhibit alongside celebrities like Joey Essex.

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