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Ireland Has a Centuries-Old Matchmaking Fest

The Outing

Courtesy of The Outing. Clockwise from top left: Panti Bliss, co-founder of The Outing. A rainbow of Outing enthusiasts. The Outing Festival 2015. The Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s west coast.
 

Not far from the dramatic Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s west coast is a tiny tourist village that has hosted a world-famous tradition for generations. For more than 150 years, bachelor farmers have flocked to the spa town of Lisdoonvarna each autumn in search of a wife — after their harvests were safely in, of course. Now the festivities aren’t limited — to farmers, to singles, or to straight people. During the Outing Music and Matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna each October, hundreds of LGBTs descend on the tiny, charming village for music, matchmaking, and craic (which translates very roughly from Gaelic as “a laugh”). Now in its fourth year, the Outing will feature pop-up clubs, drag performances, comedy, live music, arts, and a film festival — and the talents of Willie Daly, a fourth-generation matchmaker. October 7–9, 2016, TheOuting.ie

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