Online speed dating event targets fans at Wexford Opera Festival

The event takes place at 8pm Irish time on Friday, October 14th, and offers opera fans a chance to meet like-minded singles. 
Online speed dating event targets fans at Wexford Opera Festival

James Cox

Attendees of the upcoming Wexford Opera Festival who are looking for love may be interested to know that an online speed dating event is being organised this week, courtesy of American speed dating app Filteroff.

The event takes place at 8pm Irish time on Friday, October 14th, and offers opera fans a chance to meet like-minded singles.

The Wexford Opera Festival kicks off on Friday, October 21st, running until Sunday, November 6th.

Filteroff founder Zach Schleien explained that this will give people who hit it off a chance to meet in person in Wexford.

Mr Schleien told "Our events normally have over 100 attendees. It's an easy way for singles to meet like-minded people, and if they're going to Wexford for the festival they can then meet up in person if they want to which is great. It's an efficient way to bring an online experience to an offline experience."

The video speed dating app involves five minute speed dates, after which people can say whether they liked the other person, and would like to talk more.

At the end, matches are revealed and people get the chance to send a direct message or start another video call, which is not timed.

This is the first Irish Filteroff event, although they have been running successful in the UK and US for quite a while.

The events are normally based around different festivals and themes, everything from Stranger Things to Stars Wars, and this makes it easy to meet other people with similar interests.

Brian Weinreich and Zach Schleien, Filteroff co-founders.

It's available to download for free from both Android and iOS playstores.

Mr Schleien said: "Once you are set up you can RSVP for the event and once the event begins we actually correlate our schedules for your dates.

"You have 10 dates, back-to-back, so 8pm, 8.05pm, 8.10pm etc. Once each date concludes, you will be asked if you liked them or not, then at the end your matches will be shown. If you match with anyone you can message or hop back on a video call with them that isn't timed."

He added: "Singles want to date oftentimes based off of interests and what they enjoy. When they're dating they can explore those activities together, so this is a perfect event.

"That's the beauty, it takes the awkwardness out of it. You know it's other people who are into opera as well. We're quite niche around the themes we post."

Factors such as age and gender preferences are also taken into account.

Mr Schleien feels Filteroff offers a more natural and less "transactional" dating experience than the well known 'swiping' apps such as Tinder and Bumble.

"Our app is a bit unusual in that we want people to meet, and get off the app. We believe the swipe is going to die, apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge where it's very transactional. Filteroff is very community-based, you know who you're speaking too, it's a different way to date online.

"It's a healthier dating experience, we don't want you swiping on hundreds of people and spending all your time feeling almost addicted. With Filteroff you have a set number of people we feel are a good match for you and then go on a video chat and talk to humans and not just base it off their picture.

"We've had lots of emails about marriages, pictures sent in, then oftentimes when people find success they delete the app and that's fine too!"

If the Wexford Opera Festival event is a success, Mr Schleien hopes to run it annually, along with events to coincide with other Irish festivals.

The event is not affiliated with Wexford Opera House.

You can learn more (or sign up if single) here.

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