Finding your soulmate can be a daunting task, but this festival makes the process much more enjoyable with a little luck o’ the Irish.
Every year in September and October, thousands of single people gather in the quaint town of Lisdoonvarna, Ireland for the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival: six weekends of concerts, drinking, dances and “endless opportunities to get together and meet people,” according to the festival’s website. The main attraction is local matchmaker Willie Daly, who estimates he’s set up around 3,000 marriages in his 45 years of consultations.
Located about three hours’ drive from Dublin, Lisdoonvarna has attracted visitors since the 1800s thanks to its natural mineral springs. Vacationers of yore recognized the town as a good spot to meet wealthy suitors for their children, and lonely farmers flocked to the spas in search of romance. Matchmakers ― including Daly’s dad and grandfather ― began peddling their services in the area. That matchmaking tradition continues today.
Beginning on September 1, the town will come alive with concerts and parties in bars, pubs and dance halls. Tickets to the concerts sell for $70, and some bars around town may charge cover fees, a spokeswoman told HuffPost. A coveted matchmaking appointment with Daly will set you back about $100.
Below, some photos from last year’s festival: