Saturday 20 January 2018

Erotic festival coming to county Down rubbing locals the wrong way

#SummerFest is the series on Irish summer festivals

Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

An 'erotic festival' is due to come to the shores of Carlingford, to the chagrin of some locals.

Bliss festival, organised by Bliss Ireland, is a "sexual freedom" event including hot tubs, massage, workshops and performances and is due to be held in the Narrow Water Castle in Co. Down.

One of the venue's trustees and uncle to the 'tenant for life', Sir William Hall, is not pleased with the move.

He claims that sexual intercourse at the festival will be "prevalent" and that the festival's 'no drugs, no alcohol' policy is "fanciful".

He fears the festival will inevitably be an "orgy".

His lawyer wrote: "Sir William is outraged that anyone should think that he would lower the name and dignity of the Hall Estate and family name which for centuries has had the highest standing".

Sir William is engaged in an unrelated legal dispute with the castle's 'tenant for life', his nephew Marcus Hall.

Bliss Ireland say the festival's aim is to "foster and promote sexual freedom, health and pleasure in mind, body and spirit" in a place "free of drugs and alcohol".

"Bliss events are an opportunity to talk, share, learn, discover new skills & techniques, have new experiences, connect with friends old & new, to explore & expand.

The goal is not to offer spaces for the sole purpose of people having sex with each other, there are other places & environments which cater to that, that's not what Bliss events are about".

"Some workshops are places where touch, sometimes sexual touch, is part of the content of the workshop, this is made clear & detailed discussion & agreement takes place at the beginning of both the weekend & each workshop around issues of consent & boundaries - every participant is free to choose their own personal level of engagement at all times & we ask that overt sexual activity be confined to private spaces or appropriate workshop spaces".

Bliss was held last July in Claregalway, Co. Galway. There are less than 80 tickets left for this year's festival.

Read more and buy tickets here.

#SummerFest is's series focusing on Irish summer festivals around the country. If you want your festival featured, email with the subject line 'SummerFest' and tweet your pics with #SummerFest for your chance to be featured on

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