Fertility Fest 2019
Fertility Fest is the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility and modern families. Using their own personal experience of fertility treatment, theatre producers Jessica Hepburn and Gabby Vautier, created Fertility Fest to improve the understanding of the emotional impact of infertility. This year’s festival takes place at the Barbican and runs from Tuesday 23rd April to Sunday 12th May and features over 200 artists and experts.
On the launch of the third Fertility Fest, we speak to joint director, Jessica, about what to expect from this year’s festival.
What is Fertility Fest?
“The aim of Fertility Fest is to use the power of the arts to bring artists and fertility experts together to discuss science, families and fertility.” says Jessica. The festival focuses on the emotional experience of fertility treatment rather than the scientific and practical aspects of treatment.
The programme for this year’s festival has something for everyone including events for women considering solo motherhood, LGBT families and people facing involuntary childlessness. “The festival is like walking in to a hug,” says Jessica, “where everyone understands and cares about what you are going through.” It’s a space to listen, talk and support each other and feel that you are a part of something.
What Comes First: the Career or the Egg?
The LWC are proud to be sponsoring a whole day of events at Fertility Fest dedicated to women in their twenties and thirties who are considering their fertility options. What Comes First: the Career or the Egg presents three events on Saturday 4th May about To Parent or Not to Parent, Egg Freezing and Solo Motherhood.
Across the day exerts from plays, books and musicals will be presented including It’s Freezing Out There a play about exploring egg freezing and Single Multiplication a one woman show about writer Claire Taylor’s journey in to solo motherhood. Each session finishes with a Q&A session with the artists and industry experts including the LWC’s senior fertility counsellor Tracey Sainsbury and fertility coach Cindy Charles about what needs considering when thinking about these options and the emotional impact they may have.
The Big Fat Festival Day
Spread over two full weeks, Fertility Fest has something for everyone. We asked Jessica if she could pick one event to attend what would it be. “Our signature day is our Big Fat Festival Day which is how Fertility Fest started” says Jessica. The day includes a whole range of events which have been staples of the festival from the start.
The day kicks off with celebrity chef, actress and author Lisa Faulkner reading from her new book Meant To Be about her own very special modern family. She will be joined by Izzy Judd, best-selling author of Dare to Dream about her and her husband McFly’s Harry Judd’s IVF journey.
The afternoon session features the UK premier of Anything You Lose a new documentary following the director, Irina Vodar’s, personal journey through fertility treatment. The final session of the day presents Fertility Fest’s signature Fertility Fight Club where expert speakers take to the stage to talk about something they feel passionate about in the world of fertility.
If you are considering fertility treatment, in the middle of treatment or know someone who is, Fertility Fest is an inspiring and supportive place to learn more about the emotional impact of infertility. You’ll meet others in a similar situation and find solidarity in a shared experience. If you’d like to find out more about the events taking place, the artists performing and the experts speaking, please visit the Fertility Fest website.