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Matchmakers have a gay old time in Lisdoonvarna

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival , which is the oldest and most famous matchmaking festival in the world, with a long standing tradition and a reputation for bringing together lonely singles, is giving that tradition a twist this year. Originally dedicated to finding suitable wives for young farmers, the festival long ago ceased to be exclusively devoted to fostering marriages. This year, the organisers thought it was about time to really drag the matchmaking festival into the 21st century and have announced that for the first time ever, the month-long festival will include “The Outing,” a gay and lesbian weekend.

TheOuting_PressPhotoshoot_Panti_Quays

Gay matchmaking festival presenter, Dublin drag Queen Panti Quays. Images © Cian Markey

The weekend will feature all the usual matchmaking events, musical entertainment and dancing that the festival is famous for, except that instead of matching men and women for marriage, a gay old time will be had by all and there are no boundaries on who should end up matched with whom. Lisdoonvarna Gay Matchmaking Festival

You might think that a Gay Matchmaking Weekend would be unheard of in rural Ireland, but in actual fact, the organisers of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival didn’t have to go far back in time to find evidence of a gay matchmaking festival! Granted the word gay didn’t mean then what it does now, but in the 1970s, the Ballybunion Bachelor Festival was called the Ballybunion Gay Bachelor Festival. The winner of the festival (presumably the man who caught the best match?) won 250 pounds, which was increased by an additional 100 pounds if the couple married within a year.

Of course, the rest of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival will be business as usual, with more than 20,000 visitors flocking to the small town throughout September music, dancing, racing and of course matchmaking

We think the inclusion of the Gay Matchmaking Weekend in the festival’s programming is a great idea, a wonderful gesture of inclusion and a powerful reminder that love is a cause for celebration, no matter what form it takes.

If you are still looking for a partner – gay or straight – and can’t make it to Lisdoonvarna, try the be2 online matchmaking service now. Registration is free of charge!

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