Love is in the air and The Outing, the annual LGBTQ+ matchmaking festival, is here to make the 2024 Valentine’s weekend an unforgettable celebration of love, diversity and pure joy! Marking its 11th year, The Outing returns to The Inn at Dromoland in County Clare from February 9 to 11.
Organised by The Outing Queer Arts Collective and backed by the support of Fáilte Ireland, Blacknight Solutions, Visit Clare, Limerick Pride and Quare Clare, the award-winning festival promises a dazzling fusion of music, comedy, céilí bands, queer arts, and the crème de la crème of Irish and international performers, drag artists and DJs. It is set to welcome over 1,000 enthusiastic participants in 2024, including LGBTQ+ and straight singles and couples from Ireland and beyond.
The weekend extravaganza is going to be hosted by none other than ‘The Queen of Matchmaking’, Eddie McGuinness, and the fabulous Victoria’s Secret.
McGuinness, also the Festival Director, shared his excitement, stating, “People have travelled from all over the world to our festival in previous years to enjoy pop-up clubs, drag performances, comedy, live music, arts, literary and film festivals, and interactive events.”
McGuinness emphasised the festival’s matchmaking magic, saying, “With more than a hundred relationships and two marriages, I have helped play a part in putting together our event in recent years. The Outing also acts as a celebration of the LGTBQ+ community, so whether you’re single or taken gay, trans, straight or bi, all are welcome to this fun weekend.”
The Outing Festival 2024 – The World’s Only LGBTQ+ Matchmaking Festival Returns February 9 – 11 @TheOutingFest at @InnatDromoland
Supported by @Failte_Ireland @blacknight @SNNChamber @DavisEvents @TheGeorgeDublin @Victoria_Secret https://t.co/RAoddZPZGB via @ilovelimerick
— Eddie McGuinness (@eddiemcguinness) January 25, 2024
Co-host of The Outing’s 2024 festival, Victoria’s Secret, added, “I am excited to escape to the West after what already feels like the longest January in record. Whether you’re coming to find love, mix and mingle with some new faces or just have a bop amongst like-minded people, there is something for everyone at The Outing. So, pop on something sparkly, shake off the January blues, and come party with me. Well, it’s Valentine’s, after all.”
With the Inn at Dromoland in County Clare being chosen as The Outing’s host venue for the next five years, McGuinness expressed, “We are delighted to have secured a lasting home for our festival and are excited about delivering an LGBTQ+ weekend like no other.”
A truly never-ending party, there’s more excitement on the horizon as The Outing organisers have joined forces with the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, Shannon Chambers, Quare Clare, and Limerick Pride to submit a bid to host EuroPride in Limerick, Clare and the Mid-West Region in 2028.
Eddie McGuinness shared the vision, saying, “Working with our partners in the Mid-West Region, we are hoping to bring LGBTQ+ tourists and activists from across the world to Limerick and Clare in 2028, which would also coincide with the 35th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Ireland.
“Limerick is well accustomed to hosting large-scale international events, and we are confident we can showcase our vibrant LGTBQ+ community here in Ireland, as this would be the 1st time EuroPride would come to the island of Ireland,” he added.
— EPOA • EuroPride (@EuroPride) August 22, 2023
Karen Ronan, General Manager of the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, is thrilled to support The Outing’s bid, stating, “The Bureau is proud to support The Outing and their partner organizations in their bid to secure this prestigious event for the Mid-West, which, should it be successful, would mark a landmark moment for the Pride movement in Ireland. Bringing the event to Limerick and Clare would also deliver a significant economic boost to the wider region and would follow on from the hosting of the World Rally Championship and the Ryder Cup.”
So, dear festivalgoers, get ready to don your sparkliest outfits, unleash your inner romantic, and join The Outing Festival 2024 for a weekend of love, laughter and unforgettable moments. Go to www.theouting.ie to grab a ticket and get more information about the event.
Whether you’re seeking a soulmate, mingling with new friends, or simply bopping to the beats, The Outing promises to have something special for everyone. As Queen of Ireland Panti Bliss, a long-standing supporter of the festival, puts it, “The Outing takes something quintessentially Irish and dips it in glitter. It opens up the idea of traditional Irishness to the LGBT community and says, actually, yes, you can be LGBT and still be as Irish.”
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