3.10.18

FRIENDS FEST: MANCHESTER 2018.


FRIENDS FEST: MANCHESTER 2018.


A sad but true fact is how excited I am to finally to write about experiences in the FRIENDS sets. 

I mean, I'd be even more excited if it was the actual set on Warner Brothers studio tour, but the FRIENDS FEST experience will do - for now. 

For as long as I can remember I've been an avid Friends fan, I remember sitting down as a family watching the final episode in my living room in 2004, I remember begging my grandparents to get me the friends DVD box set for Christmas in 2008 and I remember my brother constantly borrowing the box-set for years afterwards and convincing my ex-boyfriend and his family that this was the series they needed to watch. Friends has played this massive part in my life and as a 25 year old, going to friends fest was practically a dream come true. 

If you've been reading my blog for a while (and by that I mean, since 2015) you may remember my post about going to the CENTRAL PERK CAFE in Liverpool (here) and spoiler alert; this day was even better than the trip ton Liverpool. 

FRIENDS FEST is basically an event that travels the country that lets fans like me experience friends like never before. They don't miss a single detail, as soon as we stepped into the park, I could feel it all. The event runs from 12pm til 9pm (or something like that) which you can spend as much time as you want in the area, theres a gift store, food stands and a central perk cafe. They also had this little area with games and challenges were played throughout the day, one of them was to win the Gellar cup. The only part was you have a set tour time to visit the sets, everything else you can see as many times as you want, for as long as you want with complete free rein. 

Me and two of my friends from work have bonded over Friends and when tickets went on sale (back in march) we booked our tour time and have been waiting [im]patiently since but my life, it was well worth the wait. Travelling from Birmingham to Manchester we arrived just after doors opened, and headed straight to central perk where a guy played a set of all of Phoebe's classics, smelly cat was 100% our favourite. We headed to the bar for a themed cocktail and waiting for our set tour.


The set tour lasts probably less then 45 minutes; it begins with a lil' museum style exhibition of some of the most well known props - think the chicken with sunglasses, the Gellar cup and Monica and Chandlers engagement announcement.  It started with Joey & Chandlers apartment - you have about 10 minutes to walk around the set, see everything as up close as possible...I ran straight to the front door, football table and the barker loungers for some essential photo's. During the time in Joey's apartment you have the chance to take photos in the apartment hall way - we almost missed our chance for this but I was so determined, I don't know why but getting to stand in this hallway was essential for me. 

We were then taken to Monica and Rachel's apartment - which I was mesmerised by. I think it the previous apartment I didn't fully take in what we were doing and reality hit me with this apartment, I could feel all those episodes I've watched over the years and suddenly felt so comfortable here. I also decided I need this sort of apartment in my life, thanks Monica. 

Ross's apartment is new to the fest this year, so this excited me. It wasn't until this apartment I really spotted the details around the rooms, the pin board with notes and pictures, the photographs in the photo frames and the ornaments and decorations around the room, all these simple pieces that add to the rooms. We recreated unagi behind the curtains but it was so crowded on our tour it was difficult to get the best pictures/videos/boomerangs. 

At the end of the time on each set, our tour guide pulled us to the front so we could get empty set shots and whilst it's probably a minor and essential detail of the tour - I thought it was really thoughtful. 


The rest of the day we spend quite chilled out, we headed to the food stands and each had the Joey special with two slices of pizza, the slices were huge so this was a messy struggle...but so.fucking.worth.it. 

After eating we continued round to all the photo opportunities, we went to as many as possible and some of them we just wasn't fussed for wait - the sofa and umbrella photo reminds me more of SMTV live's CHUMS. and I'm really irritated that the photo isn't central but apart from that, all was good. 

We ended the day with some treats from the store - I got myself a little friends tote bag which has all the best quotes and tv moments. I had so much fun, I was mesmerised by everything, loved all the photo opportunities and the food was delish, I also loved spending the day with Shannon & Mariana. Thanks girls for joining me in being the biggest child ever and quoting friends with me daily. 

So girls, we're booking tickets for next year too, right? 


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