The Outing Festival

10 Years of Bringing People Together at The Outing Festival

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Time to find Love or friendship or both as The Outing Festival Ireland returns on Valentine’s Weekend, 10th-12th February 2023, after a breakup because of Covid.


We have had a breakup with life in the last few years. Now it’s time to get back out there and find that passion or even love again, and The Outing Festival is here to help in the areas of Arts, Music and, most importantly, Matchmaking.


The Outing Festival world’s only Queer (LGBTQ+) Matchmaking Festival, returns on Valentine’s Weekend on February 2023 in its New home but still in the heart of Co. Clare on the grounds of Dromoland Castle at The Inn at Dromoland.


“An LGBTQ+ Weekend like no other!” The Outing Festival is a fusion of music, comedy, ceilí bands, queer arts, and the best of Ireland’s and International performers, drag/queer artists, and DJs.
The World’s Only Queer Music, Matchmaking & Arts Festival.


“10 Years of Bringing People Together” the festival has grown from 1st year in 2013 in Lisdoonvarna. With Same-sex marriage equality in 2015 in Ireland, the festival has, with the help of Queen of Matchmaking Eddie McGuinness, brought together hundreds of couples and even a few marriages too and few more on the way even a wedding this year in July. With some teaching from the 4th generation of Matchmaking, Willie Daly


The Outing Festival is the ever-growing Off-shot and stand-alone festival from Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, in Co. Clare on The Wild Atlantic Way, supported by Faité Ireland.


The Outing Festival has now developed into an even bigger queer festival by bringing the LGBTQ+ plus community and friends together in the areas of Arts, Music, Film, Comedy plus outdoor activities (hiking, surfing, water sports, horse riding, golf and more) with at the heart of the festival been Matchmaking the art of bringing people no matter who they are or backgrounds together.
Going into our 10th year as a festival, we never stop bringing people together, even in covid happening by going online and showcasing outstanding singer-songwriters to artists and bits of Fabulous Drag from Panti to Ru Paul Ryder to Carrie Deweyy, even bringing in international drag artists with an Irish connection.
This is a new twist on an old tradition with an extra Rainbow put in to make things happen, said Eddie McGuinness, Queen of Matchmaking.


The Outing Festival’s love for Eurovision will keep growing with Irish and international winners performing at the festival Johnny Logan, Katrina (Katrina & The Waves) UK winner, Irish winner Paul Harrington a great friend of the festival Niamh Kavanagh (3rd time at the festival) alongside Linda Martin as a special guest in 2023.


It’s not easy to find someone of like-mindedness out there online or offline before covid and since covid, but this is what we do here at The Outing Festival, said Eddie McGuinness, Queen of Matchmaking, aka Mr Pride.


In 2023 The Outing Festival has grown from 2 Day festival to 4 Day Festival, with the Main Festival location at the Inn at Dromoland hotel situated on 450 acres of beautiful wooded Clare countryside on the grounds of Dromoland Castle plus ‘Pre-Outing’ 1 Night, 3 Cities 3 Stages, 1 Festival starting Thursday 9th February the Night before The Outing Festival gives a Taste of The Outing in Mickey Martin Limerick City, Bar Nova Galway City & The George Bar Dublin City. DJs & Drag Artists from The Outing Festival perform and play music before they head to The Outing Festival Valentines Weekend, 10th-12th February on stage. You never know which stage the ‘Queen of Matchmaking, Eddie McGuinness’, will do some Matchmaking at? This is all supported by Failté Ireland, Blacknight, Shannon Chamber, Plus LGBTQ+ community groups Limerick Pride, Quare Clare, and GOSHH.


For over 10 years, we hosted our festival in Co. Clare and have visited other Pride festivals around Ireland, from the smallest ones in Mayo to Sligo Pride, then onto Dundalk, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Newry, Derry & Carlow Pride, to name a few.


We host a Géilí every year for Dublin Pride (that Trad session with Irish dancers in Panti Bar with a gay twist)


We have taken The Outing Festival and our Queen of Matchmaker to London, Manchester even Vienna with an invite to World Pride Sydney Australia this year.
Love is all around us. #ShareTheLove


Some of the Hosts over the ten years have been Panti Bliss, Brendan Courtney, Alan Hughes and last few years, Paul Ryder (Ireland AM Virgin Media has co-hosted alongside our Queen of Matchmaking Eddie McGuinness. Paul will join Eddie again this year to help share the love at The Outing Festival 2023.
At the core of the festival is bringing people and artists together who are Irish or with an Irish connection or hope to have one by the end of the festival, said Eddie McGuinness, Queen of Matchmaking & founder.


This is a fusion of Queer Arts and culture, plus that safe space where you can chat and meet someone from the LGBTQ+ community in a beautiful part of West Ireland in Co. Clare.


Matchmaking Festival like no other
“Who needs dating apps? At The Outing Festival, the glittery LGBT+ sister event of the 160-year-old Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival, there’s no technology, just good old-fashioned parties in the unlikely setting of rural County Clare” The Guardian UK Newspaper.


Homosexuality was only decriminalised in Ireland in 1993, but in May 2015, the country became the first in the world to legalise gay marriage by popular vote, and it did so resoundingly: 62% voted in favour. In the traditionally more conservative west, County Clare voted 58% in favour, so the festival isn’t quite as incongruous as it sounds. Except it still sort of is. 7 years or more later there have been marriages and engagement parties after meeting at The Outing Festival


Who needs online dating when you can meet in person or with an extra helping hand from Queen of Matchmaking Eddie McGuinness, aka Mr Pride hosting Blind Date to speed dating or even some water sports with our virgin pool party
“This is like a Gay Butlins with even more glitter and camp,” said Eddie McGuinness, founder & Queen of Matchmaking.

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