This week, on August 3rd me and the boyfriend headed up to Manchester for our first ever Friends Fest- run by comedy central. Friends is one of Jonny’s all-time favourite TV shows, and so I got us tickets as a birthday present for him.
I had no idea what to expect really, I’ve never been on any sort of set tour or any festival that wasn’t a music festival. When we got there, it was smaller than I expected. But when thinking about it, it really didn’t need to be huge, it was exactly the right size. No getting lost, but still plenty of room for everyone.
The first thing we did was grab food (after the 2-hour drive, food was at the forefront of our minds!) They had 5 friends themed trucks on site:
Phoebe’s Vegetarian Buffay; No food with a face.
OH, MY, GOD Hot Dogs
An ice cream van which also sold New York cheesecake
A Mocklat stand selling everything sweet covered in chocolate
We opted for food from the OH MY GOD Hot Dog stand. Jonny had a hotdog and I had a bacon cheese burger. Me being me, I managed to drop mustard down my leg, before we’d taken ANY photos for the day, because I am just a mess. Later on in the day we grabbed some cheese cake and ice cream which was glorious. Cheesecake is my favourite, and I’ve found out its even better with soft serve!
When we weren’t taking photos (mostly we were eating) but we also sat and watched whatever was happening on stage. The majority of this was a loop of the best moments from the show. However, they also had someone sing a selection of Phoebe’s songs live as well as a quiz to win a free piece of merchandise and two people teach Ross & Monica’s dance.
There were so many photo opportunities this year other than the set tour: The official Friend’s Fest prop photo opportunity, Ross & Rachel’s wedding chapel, Central Perk, the PIVOT scene, the title sequence AND Phoebe’s cab. Most of the time there were members of festival crew to take our photos which was great – less chance of a random person who doesn’t really know how to get a good photo doing it for you! Although, when we asked people to take photos for us they did really good jobs!
The set tour was lots of fun. Jonny (being the Friends fan) couldn’t really wrap his head around being on the set. He specifically loved Chandler & Joey’s apartment where he got a photo with Hugsy. My favourite was getting a photo in front of the door of Monica and Rachel’s apartment – that iconic purple door with the yellow frame. They also had the hallway between the two apartments to explore, as well as Ross’ apartment, which was a new addition this year.
As well as the sets, they had several genuine props from the show including the Geller Cup and Phoebe’s genuine guitar.
It was such a lovely day out – something every Friends fan should do. I picked up a tote bag from the gift shop (modelled here by Jonny) and he got a shirt with the same central perk logo, but in grey.
"I had a great time at FriendsFest! I didn’t really know what to expect at first because Cerys didn’t tell me much in detail about it beforehand, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Being able to stand on sets that I’ve been watching for ten years on TV was such a mind-blowing experience, especially as a massive Friends fan! It caught me off guard at first, playing tricks on my mind in a way, maybe because I’ve seen the apartments for so long on TV screens that being there in the actual rooms at life size and being able to interact with all of it, seeing it from the actors perspective and how they would have viewed the apartments from where they stood, it took my brain a minute to piece it all together, especially in Joey and Chandler’s apartment. Overall, it was a brilliant experience. I loved being able to be in that world for a little while and hang out in some places I always wanted to as a kid (even though I still knew they were sets back then). I even got to hug Hugsy, so I’d say it was a success." -Jonny
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