Sunday, 15 July 2018

The One Where I Went To FriendsFest

friendsfest review

Growing up, without a doubt, my favourite TV show was Friends. I remember begging my parents to buy the seasons on VHS, eventually amassing them right as DVD players were introduced. *facepalm* I had a Friends pencil case, with the cast slurping from milkshakes, that I proudly displayed during each and every class at school and even visited the 'Friends building' when I was in New York last year. So it's safe to say I'm a fan.

Even now, I must get through several episodes a week, with me tending to watch one whilst I eat lunch most days. I honestly could act out entire episodes, I've seen them that many times and often find myself sitting watching them again for the millionth time when I'm supposed to be getting back to work. So let's not get too distracted as I write today's post...

friendsfest set tour

I've always been incredibly envious of people in other cities up and down the UK when FriendsFest first made it's debut, becoming a bit of a tradition every Summer here in the UK. Every year since then, I've hoped and prayed that the following year would be the year that it came up to Scotland and thankfully my prayers have finally been answered.
So let's see exactly what FriendsFest was like from a Friends superfan (it should be no surprise to you that there will be quite a few photographs);

friendsfest glasgow

Located in Glasgow's Victoria Park, a park that I'd actually never visited before despite living in Glasgow my entire life, you'll find a Friends fanatic's dream. You can even hear the theme song beckoning you over as you head towards the cordoned off area of the park.

friends fest set tour

What I was the most excited for was the set tour and boy did it not disappoint. Depending on how busy your set is (the slot I was there for was sold out), you can expect to join about 30 other Friends fans as you make your way through each of the sets.

friendsfest props

friends fest props

Whilst you're waiting for the tour to start you actually get a chance to see some of the real props from the show. You'll find my absolute favourites Glynnis, Hugsie and the Geller cup along with lots of other brilliant props from across the ten seasons. I won't ruin it for you by posting all of them but they are are well worth checking out whilst you wait in line.

friendsfest tickets

Our first stop was Chandler and Joey's apartment and it really did freak me out how realistic it looked. Being as familiar as I am with the Friends apartments and watching them on an almost constant loop for as long as I can remember (the first season originally aired when I was just two years old!) meant that I had high expectations of what the set tour would be like and the sets themselves far surpassed them.

friends fest review 2018

There were a couple of factors that detracted from the overall experience though and that was the fact that you have to queue up to get each of your shots and some of the illusion is ruined if everyone else has congregated in a particular spot, as you can see here. As a result, I would definitely recommend edging in to be one of the first or consequently holding back until everyone else has got their shot if you're looking to really recreate the scenes sans crowds.

friends fest tickets uk

Monica and Rachel's apartment was just as detailed as Chandler and Joey's and the one in which I felt most at home, probably because that's where the characters congregate most in the show, other than at Central Perk. It's also the one place that all of the friends have lived at one point or the other. A bit of Friends trivia for you there but if you're a true fan, you will most likely already know that.

friendsfest uk dates

I was expecting them to be good but I wasn't expecting them to be so spot on whilst also featuring some of the most famous and well loved props from throughout it's ten season run. I mean, you open the refrigerator door and are greeted with Rachel's 'British' trifle! The attention to detail is truly unreal!

friendsfest 2018

friendsfest ross' apartment

New for 2018 is Ross's apartment where of course, a whole lot of UNAGI happened! I also spotted his brilliant keyboard along with his trademark dinosaur and rock collections.

friendsfest 2018 glasgow

There were plenty of iconic moments to recreate and great shots to get, which I really appreciated. The sets were also housed indoors which works particularly well for the British weather. Bizarrely it hasn't rained here in Glasgow in several weeks (I swear, it's a record!) so we didn't have to worry about that, thankfully.

friends fest food

Once the set tour was over we headed over to Central Perk, something I can't quite believe that I'm typing or was able to experience. Again, this was a full size recreation of the set whilst also hosting a real spot to grab a coffee or drink whilst enjoying FriendsFest.

friendsfest central perk

Rachel Green eat your heart out!

friends fest central perk

You can do your best 'Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat' impression by grabbing Phoebe's guitar and taking a seat in her usual spot or stop and listen to an actual singer get everyone in the crowd joining in at different time slots throughout the day.

friendsfest pivot

Outside there were even more photo opps where you can recreate the opening scenes, pretend to get married in Vegas, dress up in Rachel's 'trying to flirt with Joshua' cheerleader outfit and 1980's Prom dresses or even attempt to PIVOT! Ross' couch. Depending on busy it is when you're there, you just get in line and wait your turn to get a few shots taken. There are also photographers there so you and  your entire group can get in the photographs, which was definitely appreciated.

friendsfest food

Whilst waiting for your tour or just spending the day there, you can grab a seat and a table at the Main Stage as they play episodes up on the big screen and make sure to grab something to eat from the fantastically themed food trucks. Who doesn't want a Joey special (two pizzas! or two pizza slices, in this case) or some tasty Mockalate?! There's even cheesecake and Phoebe's vegetarian Buffay!

friendsfest 2019

FriendsFest will be touring the country on the following dates;

Newcastle 20-29 July
Manchester 3-12 August
Bristol 24 August -2 September
Brighton 7-16 September
London 21-30 September

friendsfest newcastle

I would definitely recommend it to any Friends superfan, especially, if like me, you've been wanting to go for years now.

So what do we think of FriendsFest and the photos that I managed to get?

Are you a Friends fan? Would you love to attend one day? What do you think of the sets and attention to detail? And where should it come to next?


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