Weddings

This Irish Town, Population 829, Could Be The Key To Your Love Life

More than 60,000 singles flock to Lisdoonvarna for their annual matchmaking festival.
07/28/2017 07:00pm ET

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.

Facebook/Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
Between events, festival attendees visit Daly for matchmaking sessions. Daly claims that if they touch his "Lucky Book" of dating profiles, they'll find a partner within six months. He charges about $100 per session, altering his price based on how far a client has traveled to the festival.
Trish Punch / Design Pics via Getty Images
Daly operates The Matchmaker Bar in Lisdoonvarna. The town has a population of 829 when the festival isn't running.

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.

There’s no age limit: One couple who met at the matchmaking festival 43 years ago still comes back to rock the dance floor, according to ABC News.

Below, some photos from last year’s festival:

Facebook/Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
The festival's social media photos boast "having the craic," which loosely means "having fun."
Facebook/Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
Most events take place in bars and pubs, but there are alcohol-free tea dances in early afternoons, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Facebook/Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
According to the festival website, Lisdoonvarna is a place to "celebrate life, love, good music and great times."
Facebook/Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival
It's estimated that more than 60,000 singles of all ages will attend this year. 
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