Back in April my husband got us tickets for FriendsFest for my birthday. Neither of us are huge fans of the show, but we did used to watch it back in the day. I still remember recording the last ever episode before heading into town with friends. We got back at around 2am, grabbed some snacks and settled in to watch it. Granted we had to re-watch it again in the morning as we weren’t in the best state to take it all it. But it was good fun.
So, when hubby saw the tickets, he thought it would be something a little bit different and fun. You know what, he was right.
WHAT AND WHERE IS FRIENDSFEST?
Ever fancied starring in the Friends credits? Want to take a closer look inside those famous apartments? Or perhaps you’d like to act out that famous furniture moving scene (all together now “PIVOT!”) FriendsFest lets you do exactly that and so much more.
Based in Manchester’s Heaton Park from 4 – 19 August, FriendsFest is an access all areas tour of the show which not only allows you to get up and close to one of the nation’s favourite shows, but also gives you a little sneak peek at some of the iconic set items from the show.
A CLOSER LOOK
As soon as we arrived the entire set up felt surreal. We had about 30 minutes before our set tour, so we took a quick look around before heading inside. The apartments are set up in the centre of the area with food and beverages spreading out toward the right. This then opens up into a fabulous seating around sat in front of a big screen playing the best bits of Friends. I will say the food is expensive – £5 for hotdogs and £6 for halloumi fries – but it’s a captive audience so (sadly) you do expect that.
I did love the seating area though and loved sitting there are watching some of my favourite Friends scenes up on the big screen.
Next there was the opportunity to act out some of your favourite scenes. The opening credits, the pivot scene, your very own Vegas wedding as well as an oversized Friends frame to play around it. There are staff at every station ready to capture the moment so be warned, your phone and / or camera will come back filled to bursting with pics.
Then of course no visit to Friends would be complete without a visit to Central Perk. Complete with coffee counter, sofa and a Phoebe tribute act which was fabulous and kept us there until the very last moment when the event closed at 9pm.
The main event though is of course the set tours. A chance to get a real up-close look first through Chandler and Joey’s apartment, then you talk a walk across the hallway to Monica and Rachael’s. Finally – and brand new for 2018 – you head across the road to Ross’ place (formally ugly naked guys).
I can hardly explain how surreal the entire experience was. Literally like stepping into a different world. When looking around you notice all those little details you’d forgotten from watching the show, and others that had become iconic. The dog, the Baywatch pics, the frame, the tea cups……not to mention that canoe! It was awesome to see close up and the memories from the show all came flooding back.
Overall, for me FriendsFest was the best kind of walk down memory lane. Surreal, fun and left me wanting to crack open Netflix and binge watch right from the beginning.