The One Where I Went To Friends Fest

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Could I have been any more excited?

It has been pretty much two years since I watched Friends from beginning to end for the first time - and since then I don't think a week has gone by when I haven't rewatched at least one episode. I may have been late to the party in terms of being a fan of the show - I was exactly three and a half on the airdate of the very last episode.

However, I think that is the true beauty of the show. The fact that even now, 20 years on, Friends still has a huge audience, which has grown even larger this year thanks to its arrival on Netflix (I am not at all surprised it has been the most streamed show by a mile this year). The age range of people attending Friends Fest ranged from younger than me to those who watched the show the first time around.


I attended Friends Fest on its Manchester run, arriving at about quarter to 12 for when it opens, after a walk through Heaton Park, as it seemed to be set up right in the middle of it. I first of all checked out the variety of photo opportunities available - I was so excited about the photo in the frame as Monica's yellow frame is so iconic. The recreating the titles sequence was also super fun.


You could also visit Central Perk, where Friends Fest's own Phoebe Buffay tribute performed all the classic songs every half an hour. There's also the iconic sofa to sit on, or you could hop behind the counter like I did and channel your inner Rachel Green.


There was also a variety of food on offer - I just settled for an ice cream which was surprisingly really good, and sat back in front of the big screen to watch some of the best-loved Friends clips. I think throughout the day there are quizzes held on the main stage too, but unfortunately not when I was there - probably for the best, I would have totally got overenthusiastic with my Friends facts.


As I ate the big screen played a clip from my all time fave episode 'The One Where Everybody Finds Out', I was totally trying not to be embarrassing and say all the words along with it...


The most exciting part of it all was the set tour. We first enter into the props area where you can actually see props used on the show - I was most excited about Phoebe's actual guitar, and the actual turkey and sunglasses from Monica's head on The One With All The Thanksgivings, it was a bit surreal that these were all the props actually used by the cast.


The set tour began with Joey and Chandler's apartment - I think my favourite apartment of the three, just because there were so many iconic items in there. Pat The Dog, the canoe, the Foosball table, you could even hug Hugsy, Joey's bedtime penguin pal, they had everything in that apartment! I also found the polaroids on the notice board super cute too.


Monica's apartment came next, this one is definitely the one with the best photo opportunities. It can be difficult in the set tour to get photos without a million people in the background, but Monica's apartment works best for this as you can pose with the door, in the kitchen or with Monica's Pictionary board.


New to 2018, the set tour also features Ross' apartment, which I tried to recreate the classic 'unagi' moment behind the curtains. Since Ross' apartment was the last one, you could leave the set when you were finished, and so I managed to get a photo on Ross' sofa without people in the background; I really feel like they should have had some margarita glasses though so you could recreate Ross' 'I'm fine' episode!


We were also given time to all stand at the side of the sets to get a set photo. The sets are so realistic I was super impressed, from little details such as the old-fashioned TV's and phones, to little props all over the place that added to the personality of the Friends set.


 One of my favourite photos I got was definitely while being in central perk, trying to be my best Phoebe playing Smelly Cat!

I then finished off at the gift shop - deciding what to buy was definitely difficult but I eventually decided on a T-shirt and a mug. I love how they both say #friendsfest on them, so they're super exclusive to the event. I was actually really impressed with the price of the t-shirt, £15 is really good, when I was expecting them to be £20-25 like at a concert.


Friends Fest suggests allowing 2-3hours for your experience, I spent 2 and a quarter hours, but I did spend a fair bit of time waiting after lunch before the set tour, which was the last thing I did. However because I arrived early, there was less time spent queueing for the photos, so I suppose the time is about right.


Have you attended Friends Fest before? I would love to hear about your experience, and if you haven't, I think there are a few tickets left for a couple more of the venues so make sure to check it out!

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3 comments

  1. I bet it was really cool to be able to see the in's and out's of your favourite TV show! How cute that you could even hug Hugsy!
    Amber | www.amberatlanta.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Ahh this looks absolutely amazing! I'm going to Friends Fest London in September and I can't wait, so excited!

    Lucy | Forever September

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