Thursday, September 09, 2010

Lisdoonvarna: Ireland’s 150-Year-Old Match.com

Each September, the good folk of Lisdoonvarna, Ireland endure – and I do mean endure – their annual Matchmaking Festival, billed as “Europe’s Largest Singles Event.” Men and women from across the globe flock to Lisdoonvarna to drink all day, drink all night, and, in the process, find the perfect mate. Too rowdy for you? For those taking their matchmaking more seriously, they can pay a visit to the only traditional matchmaker left in County Clare, Mr. Willie Daly. Not only is he a matchmaker, but a horse whisperer to boot. You know what they say: Two birds…

Though it has been compared to “Brigadoon gone terribly, terribly wrong,” I still raise a pint to these pilgrims congregating in Ireland on their quest for love. Or at least some good craic.

In homage to these singletons, here’s a link to a free download of “Young Hearts Run Free,” covered by The Swell Season. Led by the charming, passionate Irish guitar guru Glen Hansard (of Once fame), The Swell Season is a live show not to be missed (unless you’re averse to total and awesome joy). You can also catch Glen on his 20th anniversary tour with The Frames in select cities this fall. My ticket is already secured!

Have you been to the Matchmaking Festival? Share your story!

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