For the first time ever, Ireland’s oldest and world-famous Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival will include a weekend dedicated to matchmaking for gays and lesbians. Dubbed ‘The Outing,’ the weekend will feature matchmaking events, concerts and more all hosted by drag-queen Panti.

The Clare People reports on the new addition to the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. ‘The Outing’ was conceived by local hotelier Marcus White who teamed up with Eddie McGuinness, organizer of Dublin Pride Festival, to manage the event.

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is an annual month-long event in September that has been running in County Clare for 150 years. The event has grown to attract not only singles, but people from all around the world who are looking for a bit of fun during September. For the first time ever, gays and lesbians will have their own weekend dedicated to matchmaking during the festival.

Event Director Donal Mulligan said, “We’re taking the best of old Ireland – music, dancing and matchmaking – and putting it together with the variety of entertainment on offer in the LGBT community.”

Organizer Marcus White said, “We are trying to put a different twist on the festival. It is going to be same as any other matchmaking weekend – we will have entertainment, music and dancing – but this will be a gay and lesbian weekend.”

There is no word yet as to whether or not Willie Day, ‘Ireland’s Last Matchmaker,’ will be directly involved with The Outing, but organizers said they are in talks with Day are hoping he will be.

Eddie McGuinness added, “At the end of the day it’s about love – that what the matchmaking festival has always been about. Ireland is leading the world on gay issues and hopefully we will have gay marriage soon, so the time is right for something like this to take place.”

‘The Outing’
will be hosted during the first weekend of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in Co Clare from August 30 to September 1.