Although the matchmaking festival in Hallmark’s new movie As Luck Would Have It is fictional, it’s actually inspired by a real-life matchmaking festival in another part of Ireland. And yes, once the festival starts up again after the pandemic in September 2021, you can attend. People from all over the world come to this festival for the chance at meeting someone special.
The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival Inspired ‘As Luck Would Have It’
Allen Leech shared in a Hallmark interview that the matchmaking festival in the movie is loosely based on a similar matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna on the west coast of Ireland. He said some of the activities at the real-life festival include soda bread making, Irish stew making, and knitting.
Lisdoonvarna’s Matchmaking Festival has its own website with more details about how the festival works and how you can attend. Unfortunately, the 2020 festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the festival’s Instagram page, the event will take place again in September 2021.
The festival includes one month of music and dancing every day from late in the morning to late at night. It involves everything from parties to pub get-togethers and dances — numerous opportunities for people to meet.
And people of all ages flock to the festival from all over the world. According to the website, they typically attend The Hydro Hotel, The Imperial Hotel, or the Burren Castle Hotel when they go to the festival.
The last festival was attended by about 40,000 people over six weekends, the website boasts.
Matchmaker Willie Daly Has Set Up More Than 3,000 Marriages
Singles come from all over the world and Matchmaker Willie Daly hosts a “daily matchmaking” session.
Willie Daly is described as Ireland’s most famous matchmaker, the website shares. It notes: “Since he started out as a matchmaker 50 years ago, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, Willie has set up around 3,000 marriages.” The Festival even has a legend of its own. The website notes:
Willie carries around what he calls his ‘Lucky Book’ – a precious notebook of love-seeking profiles which is about 150-years-old. He explains, ‘If you touch this love ledger you’ll be married and in love inside of six months. If you are already married, you will recreate the honeymoon period you first had.’
In February for Valentine’s Day, Daly hosted a Zoom event where he touched his lucky book on viewers’ behalf and offered advice about how to find love.
Daly is considered a third-generation matchmaker.
Eat Drink Travel reported that the event takes place in a spa town of about 800 people that’s transformed for the festival and sometimes attracts as many as 60,000 people. It’s now considered Europe’s largest singles event and includes more than just matchmaking festivities. The Hydro Hotel, for example, hosts film screenings, art shows, DJs, live music, and tourist trips. Of course, there are plenty of matchmaking events too, like speeding dating, Blind Date games, and cruises.
The festival typically runs into early October. During one weekend in October, there’s also an LGBT event called The Outing, Eat Drink Travel shared.
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