Lisdoonvarna Festival 2018 best on record

Lisdoonvarna Festival 2018 best on record


Caragh Nolan and Ciara Reilly attended this years festival

More than 80,000 people have attended this year’s Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival – making it one of the best on record, according to organisers.

Marcus White, Managing Director of White Tours and Hotels said: “I am overwhelmed how successful the festival has been this year. We have had a 20% increase in visitors, both from Ireland and internationally. The Country music weekends were very well attended and mid-week dancing was the busiest it’s been in years.”

Mr White said: “We heard that numbers are down in some rural festivals, but luckily that is not the case in Lisdoonvarna. We predict more than 80,000 people attended this year, which is up on last year.”

Big country music stars Derek Ryan, Mike Denver, Lisa McHugh and Cliona Hagan boosted the event, especially on the first two weekends which were traditionally the quietest. Bands like Outa Diesel, Blue Ridge Country, Teddy & Cahal Barry are just some of the 50 acts who perform over the five weeks of the festival and attract a huge following, with many people returning every year.

“The festival bring so much joy and contentment to so many people, that’s why people come back year after year.” Mr White added.

Aisling Crombie, Joe Duggan and Edel Danagher enjoying the crack in Lisdoonvarna

Businesses around the town and beyond also benefited from the huge numbers of people visiting the area.

“The festival has a huge benefit not only to Lisdoonvarna but to North Clare and beyond, benefitting all businesses including hotels, restaurants bars and shops. This year in particular, we heard that accommodation was in such short supply that people had to stay in Galway and Ennis.”

“A lot of work goes into the festival and we are grateful that everyone in the village works together to make it a success and promote Lisdoonvarna as an international tourism destination”

Mr White said that plans for next year’s event are already in progress. “We’ve started to plan next year’s event already – we want to reinvent the festival and keep it fresh. We will be taking it in a new direction, but I can’t say more at the moment as we are still in negotiations.”

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.