Traditional culture festivals

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Aug 31 2018 - Sep 30 2018
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Contact details


Main Street, Lisdoonvarna, Clare,
Ms Julie Carr
T: +353(0)657074005

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is one of Ireland's oldest and most traditional festivals. Held every September in the village, over 80,000 people come to the village for dancing, romancing and to enjoy the craic.

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is over 160 years old. Over 80,000 people from all over the world flock to this village event looking for love, dancing and to enjoy a bit of craic. For the whole month of September, there is music in every venue from 11 in the morning to the small hours of the night.

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. Matchmaker Willie Daly, a third generation matchmaker, has his office in the Imperial Hotel in the village and has brought thousands of couples together.

In recent years, the festival has evolved to include big country music weekends, featuring Ireland's top country stars, including Mike Denver, Derek Ryan and Lisa McHugh.

€30 - €50