Anyone who knows me in real life will know that I am a big Friends fan. Huge, in fact. I can recite the majority of episodes from scratch – something I’m not totally proud of. I also have an ability to relate any real-life situation to a specific Friends quote or moment.
I’m rather more proud of this one.
So it didn’t come as much surprise to anyone when I jumped at the chance to buy tickets when Friends Fest announced it was coming to Heaton Park in Manchester.
Could I BE any more excited?
Friends Fest took over a huge chunk of Heaton Park, and gave die-hard Friends fans the chance to explore the real-life sets, eat at unique themed restaurants, visit the Central Perk coffee shop, play with dress up and shop exclusive goodies.
More than anything, it was a chance to head off with five other Friends-obsessed people to run around sets screaming quotes and getting way too excited at the prospect of discovering Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ hidden in a drawer of the freezer – if you know, you know. It also showed the impact that the Friends TV show has had on our popular culture, and still has to this day. I know there are some people who won’t agree with me, but I find it incredibly easy to re-watch Friends over and over again and it still makes me laugh, even though it ended more than 10 years ago.
Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!
Before you step onto the famous apartment sets, you get to take a nosey at actual costumes worn by the cast in iconic episodes, including the Holiday Armadillo and Ross’ leather pants.
Once you’ve got over the sheer excitement and health palpitations that come from exploration the two apartments, you can head outside and recreate the show’s well-known opening sequence, complete with umbrellas and orange sofa.
Fancy something to eat? Head over to Monica’s Moondance Diner or the ‘My Sandwich!’ van. If you need something sweet there’s a Mockolate stand serving crepes.
Phoebe’s taxi. The cop car where Joey protects a sandwich over his friends. A Vegas-themed photobooth where you can pose at Ross and Rachel’s wedding, or head back to Monica and Rachel’s high school prom. Central Perk, complete with sofa, Phoebe’s guitar playing set and a real-life coffee shop.
And finally, a tutorial on how to perfect Monica and Ross’ “routine”. Yes, that routine.
I really couldn’t have been any more excited. More snaps of the day below!