FEATURE: Festifeel 2017



 Festifeel 2017


HOSTED by CoppaFeel!; the annual...


IN THIS PHOTO: Anna Jones (@we_are_food)

Festifeel festival is a unique event that puts boobs at the forefront – in the sense that it encourages young women to check their breasts. It is a way of making breast cancer more visible and less frightening/lonely – a way of taking any hesitation and stigma out of it and raising awareness. The event is not only a change for women to come together. Co-founder Kristin Hallenga, when talking about the ethos of the festival, explained it in these terms:

"I want everyone to know that cancer doesn’t conform to the over-40s rule we try to impose on it; and that getting to know your boobs from a young age, and making checking them regularly a habit of a lifetime you could save your life one day."


IN THIS PHOTO: CoppaFeel! founders, Maren and Kristin Hallenga

CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 and twin sisters Kristin and Maren Hallenga started the movement following Kristin’s breast cancer diagnosis at twenty-three. Due to her late diagnosis; CoppaFeel! C.E.O. Kristin lives with stage-four breast cancer. Last year; she explained why she was stepping down from helming CoppaFeel!

In fact, at the moment I am not just looking at the more recent months, but my past eight years running CoppaFeel! Why? Because I have decided to step down as CEO of the charity.

This is in no way linked to my health – in fact, I feel better than ever. And I’d rather step away when I am well than on my last legs.


IN THIS PHOTO: Kristin Hallenga

I never wanted to be in a panic about the future of the charity. I feel so very lucky then, to be in the position to step away when both me AND the charity are feeling strong.

CoppaFeel! is at its peak, it is saving lives and has a kick-ass team leading it to even greater things.

Honestly, I never wanted to be a CEO. I am not a natural leader, just very passionate, and my passion has got us to this stage.

Now it’s time for a new pair of eyes and fresher leadership to take it even further.

I recently read an article about Founder’s Syndrome, and how founders of charities often don’t know when to relinquish their powers – to the detriment of the charity. I never want to be in that position.


The fact doctors, when she was concerned she had breast cancer, dismissed her concerns as irrational and hormonal – it shows, as recently as a few years ago, how much ignorance there was. It seems insane there would be such cavalier disregard and dismissal of anyone fearful of their health. The fact Kristin was right – and faced the most devastating news possible – does not make her (correct) instinct satisfying. Out of the horrible and bleak situation came the desire and dream to make breast cancer a less misunderstood and overlooked illness. The aim is to reduce the rates of death and ensure there is more early-stage detection and greater conversation. There is a stigma and sense of trepidation when it comes to men and checking for testicular cancer. The fact they are reluctant to check themselves is one barrier: going to a doctor and revealing something embarrassing is another hurdle. The fact is, like breast cancer, it is serious and should not be seen as embarrassing.


CoppaFeel! has the mandate that urges women to check their breasts and notice any abnormalities or changes. The Ambassadors of CoppaFeel! are called ‘the Boobettes’ – women who were diagnosed at a young age. I shall mention this year’s Festifeel but, before then, a little Wikipedia overview of CoppaFeel! and how it has grown:

In summer 2014 they launched their ‘What Normal Feels Like’ campaign, which seeks to reclaim the language and imagery associated with breasts.[13] Hundreds of women have submitted pictures of their breasts, along with a descriptive word such as “wibbly” or “springy”, which have been used in a series of advertisements designed to normalise and desexualise female breasts.[14] According to The Daily Mail, the ‘What Normal Feels Like’ billboards had to be placed away from roadsides for fear of distracting drivers with images of naked breasts.[15]


In the same year The Sun newspaper started working with CoppaFeel! on ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’, a bold campaign that features Page 3 models encouraging readers to check their breasts for signs of cancer every Tuesday.[16] CoppaFeel! founder Kristin Hallenga presently works as a columnist for The Sun, expanding on the important of ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’ by regularly writing about her own experiences with cancer.[16] The campaign has been criticized by No More Page 3, who feel that the promotion “sexualised images of young women to highlight breast cancer”.[17] CoppaFeel! responded to the criticism by highlighting the importance of early stage diagnoses for the disease.[18] ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’ has received support from several celebrities including motorcycle racer Maria Costello,[19] and actress Helen Flanagan.[20]

CoppaFeel! have also run a ‘Cheknominate’ campaign, which was their “healthier” take on the Neknominate craze.[21] Cheknominate encouraged people to record themselves checking their breasts before nominating a friend to do the same. The Huffington Post were supportive of the campaign, and encouraged their readers to try to get the hashtag #Cheknominate trending on social media”.[22]


IN THIS PHOTO: Russell Howard

CoppaFeel! and Festifeel have gained celebrity support from the likes of Fearne Cotton, Russell Howard and Danni Minogue. Radio presenters such as Dermot O’ Leary have thrown their support behind it – O’Leary and Greg James run the Bath Half-Marathon in 2013 – and raised a lot of awareness/funds. It is important, as Chris O’Dowd stated in a vital video, men check themselves too. There is this assumption men cannot get breast cancer because they do not have breasts. Everyone has breasts in the same everyone has an Adam’s apple (a misnomer and confusion) – unlike an Adam’s apple: breasts are less prominent in males.


IN THIS PHOTO: Fearne Cotton

We need to check ourselves and ensure we perform regular inspection and maintenance of our bodies. The same way it is important for women to get men to check their testicles for cancer: men should - and have - urge young women to check their breasts for possible irregularities. Make sure you go to this year’s Festifeel and check Facebook for details. The official website provides links to tickets - and check the latest Twitter happenings here. It is a wonderful cause whose annual festival gains more traction and patronage by the year.

This year’s is going to be a huge gathering and a wonderful day – not only intended to raise awareness and support for breast cancer/detection but provide wonderful music/talent...




Arches 228 - 232 Station Approach Road, London SE1 8SW

Busted // Pixie Lott // Denai Moore // The Staves // Fleur East // Basement Jaxx (DJ Set) // Lauren Laverne (host) // Mystery Jets (DJ) // Goldierocks (DJ) // Abbie McCarthy (Radio1) DJ // Bear Grooves (DJ)

Welcome to Festifeel, an annual festival organised by, and raising funds for, the charity CoppaFeel!, who work tirelessly to raise awareness of breast cancer, in order to stamp out the late detection of the disease.

Heading into its eighth year, it’s known for its incredible and eclectic line up that switches from the best new bands to some of music’s biggest stars with DJs, comedy poetry hour with Laurie Bolger, graffiti workshops, boob chat, glitter, nail art and so much more, held in one of London’s most epic music venues.


IN THIS PHOTO: Festifeel host, Lauren Laverne

With a music line up curated by Fearne Cotton, you’re guaranteed to be in for a treat. Last year's line-up featured the Mercury nominated Laura Mvula, Rae Morris, Flyte, the legendary Stereophonics, + DJ sets from Goldierocks to Gok Wan and a comedy stage curated by Russell Howard.

October 14th is set to be a special day, and all for a pretty brilliant cause.

Presented by Festifeel.

Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.




1pm Doors open

- Busted

- Pixie Lott

- Denai Moore

- The Staves

- Fleur East


IN THIS PHOTO: Basement Jaxx

- Basement Jaxx (DJ Set)

- Lauren Laverne (host)

- Mystery Jets (DJ)

- Goldierocks (DJ)

- Abbie McCarthy (Radio1)

- DJ Bear Grooves (DJ)