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With many Oban Lesbian Weekend attendees keen for a winter LGBTQ+ event, OutNewsGlobal is delighted to have teamed up with Oban Lesbian Weekend and The Outing Festival, so that you can join us to go on a minibreak to The Outing Festival in Shannon, West Ireland.  Just contact us to meet up at Edinburgh airport, Friday 10th February if flying from Scotland or meet us there! All are welcome!

The Outing Festival, the world’s only Queer Matchmaking Festival and the premier LGBTQ+ festival in Ireland, is back for its 10th year, bigger and better than ever before and ready to welcome you with open, glitter-filled arms on the weekend of 10th-12th February 2023. 

Ryanair are offering cheap flights from the UK, so you can join our British group to fly straight to Shannon airport, just eight miles from The Outing Festival’s new venue in the stunning 425-acre grounds of Dromoland Castle Estate. We have set up a Facebook group to give you the perfect opportunity to meet new friends prior to heading to Ireland.

Don’t forget to check for Ryanair’s Cyber Week Sale, November 21st – 28th for cheap flights straight to Shannon for The Outing Festival

Taking place not-so-coincidentally over Valentine’s weekend, repeat attendees will be delighted to hear that the festival’s new home, The Inn at Dromoland, is still in the heart of gorgeous Co. Clare in West Ireland. This is the second time since 2019 that the festival has been held here. Also returning are, of course, much-loved founder and host Eddie McGuiness, the Queen of Matchmaking, and host Paul Ryder, the RingMaster of Love.

“An LGBT+ Weekend like no other”, The Outing Festival is a fusion of queer arts and culture, plus that safe space where you can chat and meet other people from the LGBTQ+ community.

The festival offers something for everyone, bringing in the top Irish and international performers, so you can enjoy music, comedy, ceilidh bands, queer arts, film, and matchmaking from the very best.

There will be daily hikes around the grounds and castle areas, and the chance to get creative with arts and crafts, karaoke, and so much more. For the more energetic among us, The Outing Festival even has optional outdoor activities, offering everything from horse riding and golf to surfing and other watersports.

A Matchmaking Festival like no other

At the heart of The Outing remains matchmaking: the timeless art of bringing people together, no matter who they are or what their background. Who needs online dating when you can meet in-person with a helping hand from the Queen of Matchmaking, Eddie McGuinness, aka Mr Pride? You will have no shortage of opportunities to meet like-minded people with Blind Date, speed dating, or even splashing around at our Virgin Pool Party, where the only thing virgin is the cocktails.

Singles and Couples are welcome at The Outing Festival

The Outing Festival has never stopped bringing people together, even during COVID. When the pandemic hit, the event simply went online, still showcasing amazing singer-songwriters, artists and a bit of Fabulous Drag. International audiences were treated to stellar performances from Panti, Ru Paul Ryder and Carrie Deweyy, to name just a few.

“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 and Founder. “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.”

What better time to find love, friendship or both than Valentine’s weekend? We have had a breakup with life in the last few years, but now it’s time to get back out there and find that passion or even love again. The Outing Festival is here to help you fall back in love with the arts, music, or even that special someone.

“Who needs dating apps? At The Outing Festival, the glittery LGBTQ+ 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

10 Years of Bringing People Together – All Welcome

This year, Niamh Kavanagh, best known for winning Eurovision, returns to The Outing for the third time. Other performers include Sparkle, the guitar and vocals duo who recently performed at Dublin’s LGBTQ+ pride festival in front of over 60,000, and DJ Ruth, a favourite on the Irish gay scene.

Friday night will kick off with ice breaking games, including speed dating, followed by The Outing’s Blind Date Show and a masquerade ball with DJ Ruth, who has been guest DJ on many other nights around Dublin, including at the George, Club Tease, Profile, and Kiss and Gass in Galway. 

A guaranteed craic-filled weekend away on Ireland’s stunning west coast.

The Outing is a chance for a winter LGBTQ+ festival abroad, where you can meet new friends and enjoy a bit of matchmaking (if you’re single) in the process. If you’d like to join our OutNewsGlobal / Oban Lesbian Weekend group heading to Ireland, just join the Facebook group, get your tickets below or drop us an email if you have any questions to

Tickets and Information below:

The Outing Festival

The Outing Festival Facebook group

Oban Lesbian Weekend Facebook group and OutNewsGlobal’s group

Oban Lesbian Weekend

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Maz Gordon

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