Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Outing: Ireland’s LGBT matchmaking festival

They say love can be found in the most unlikely of places; well, if that’s the case, then Ireland has a festival for you if you happen to be a member or friend of the LGBT community.

Called The Outing, this music and matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, in the West of Ireland, takes place in a town of just 800 residents. It’s the last place you would expect to find gay men, women, trans, drag queens – all sorts of people from all around the world having a ball and looking to fall in love or just to have fun.

Running from 7–­9 October
, The Outing is not just a matchmaking festival, it’s a music, arts and film festival and more, and it’s quickly becoming one of the most offbeat and festive LGBT events in the world.

Now in its fourth year, the highly successful offshoot to the traditional Irish matchmaking event will see thousands descend on the tiny village on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.

This year’s entertainment will be led once again by the High Queen of Drag in Ireland, Panti Bliss, who will also be doing some matchmaking alongside Lisdoonvarna’s own legendary matchmaker Willie Daly.

TheOuting weekend will provide non-stop entertainment including live music from international Irish girl band B*witched, Eden 'Electro Pop' and Jonny Woo, queen of London’s alternative drag scene who will perform his show of ‘alt-drag performance song book’.

Club nights will feature leading DJs John Sizzle from the Glory London among others, DJ Mo (The George Dublin, Club Tease), and the Confession Club to be run over three nights and presenting the biggest and best ever love party.

The outrageous Le Gateau Chocolat, the baritone drag queen diva star of La Soiree and top Irish TV presenter Brendan Courtney will host the hugely popular Blind Date event. 
There will also be cruising with ‘Love Boat’, caving, rock climbing, hiking and biking activities, and tours to local attractions such as the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and the Father Ted filming locations.  

Pop-up clubs, drag performances, comedy, ceilis, a drag workshop, the GAZE Film Festival on tour, an art exhibition and interactive events are just some of the other organised activities taking place. But there’ll be also be plenty of unscheduled partying around the streets and pubs of Lisdoonvarna.

British Irish Visa Scheme
The British Irish Visa Scheme allows for travel to and around Ireland and the UK on a single visa. The recently launched scheme allows visitors from India to travel freely within Ireland and the United Kingdom using either an Irish or UK visa. This will mean that tourists and business visitors will be able, for the first time, to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa. 

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