Our intrepid adventuress Ellen (just back from Backpacking in Brazil) – now braves the epic event that is Lisdoonvarna…
Fair Game’ ‘Good Sport’ ‘Pocket Billiards’ #matchmakingfestival
Ever since I came to Ireland, I have always wanted to go to the phenomenon that is the Lisdoonvarna Match Making Festival. With my new ‘state of consciousness’ and my trying not to give a ‘fiddle de-de mama’ attitude, my lovely friend and I decided to go – ‘for the craic’. We got dressed in ‘going out, out’ clothes (insert Mickey Flanagan sketch). Head-to-toe Brown Thomas various labelled clothing, times two peeps. We looked ‘well sophisticated!’.
We were told to stand on the road in Lahinch at about 22:30 to catch a minibus taxi-van. We did, and magically one turned up, with six other young ladies. The local bouncer who helped us get the taxi van told the driver to ‘load them in!’ So like a herd of a cattle, we embarked on the small country road to Lisdoonvarna. The six young ladies in the mini bus were in fine form and took requests and sang songs all the way to the festival, one song being ‘Lisdoonvarna’ which consisted of just singing ‘Lisdoonvarna’ over and over again (insert Christy Moore (who is not a woman) song here). The taxi driver is nicknamed ‘the horse’, apparently because of his stallion-ness (aforementioned horse giggles to himself as he says this to the singing minibus full of women).
He then drops us off and tells us he will pick us up at 13:45 ‘by the bins’…
What then ensues is delightful Irish cross road of pubs, hotels and jovial carnage.
After watching a young fella throw up in between two parked cars we decided drink healthily – obviously vodka and water. We then go to The Matchmaker Hotel to see the legend Willie Daly, The Matchmaker! He was just about to leave with his famous matchmaking huge leather bound book in an Aldi plastic bag, when my lovely friend who knew Willie, got him to stay a bit longer so I could get the ‘magic rubbings’ from the book and a photo with Willie! Too excited! Willie gave me a matchmaking application form which included a space for car registration number…
One fella started to chat to us, he looked at us and said ‘you’ve just come here to take the piss’…#rumbled
The hotel was sparsely furnished with wooden country style dinning chairs stacked up agains the back wall and three rows of them at the side of the dance floor! The punters were all ages, types and sexes. The place was rammers and this was only one of the venues. We sat to the edge at the back and side part of the dance floor and took up our voyeuristic positions. Spotted a younger, well girthed ‘Dad bod’ (man with a figure like your dad), farmer type boy at the opposite side of the room but then proceeded to be ‘cock blocked’ by ‘auld’ fellas literally blocking our view.
The band were amazing! Played various country tunes followed by Footloose and Maniac (insert tune) at the end of the night. Young fellas were dancing rave to country music and auld fellas were jiggling with their belts and jeans but everyone was dancing, having the craic, introducing themselves and chatting! I must say fair play to the men of Lisdoonvarna, they were tipsy, shouty, spitty, hilarious, charming, chatty and approached women. Not one person was on a mobile phone!
We got mauled, touched, stroked and at one point a stocky young fella gave me a dry shampoo, (which is like a dry hump for the scalp) before straddling the woman seated in front of us.. . n American approached my gorgeous friend and proceed to show her on his phone his houses, the size of his boat and where Florida was on the map!
We decided to go ring-side for the last part of the night and moved on to the chairs around the dance floor. Two very drunk men asked us where we were from and when I said that I was English one of them pulled a disgusted face, staggered around, waved his ‘no’ finger at me, shook his head and said out loud ‘NO’ and moved unsteadily on to the next woman.
We then spotted a couple PDAing in the form of a snog…
The lady snogger was giving the man snogger instructions to ‘slow down’ which no doubt was informative and a match to be made in the process.
The Fields of Athenry played to announce the end of the night and we walked down the street to await our taxi van by the bins!
The atmosphere was super great, everyone, was just having a really great time. The craic was mighty.
We met our lovely other bus ladies and waited for the taxi-van (thank goodness no one had moved the bins). Revellers from all over walked past having the craic and the chat. Then my friend noticed from the corner of her eye a fella was relieving himself in front of the wall by the bins. I however noticed that he was relieving himself too much and was actually having a ‘tommy tank!’ Hoping that would not be the last memory of Lisdoonvarna Festival; a super hot, age-inappropriate hipster type man walked past and bid us ‘good evening’! Horaah!
The horse and the taxi minibus van pulled up! We informed the horse to drive really fast at the hipster man, knock him over, break his legs and put him in ‘da van’….#thatistruelove