The One with Friends Fest!

I suppose you could say I’m a pretty huge fan of the TV show Friends. I started accumulating my Friends DVD collection when box sets didn’t exist so I now have a very odd looking set. I even had a MySpace page dedicated to the show. I remember my actual friends being disappointed when it wasn’t a page about them!

It has made me laugh, cry and punch the air with a ‘YES!’ So you can imagine my excitement when I heard the news that there was going to be a whole festival dedicated to it! Last year I was ready at my laptop, iPad and phone when tickets were released. I was gutted I didn’t manage to get any.

I nearly gave up hope for this year when my friend messaged me saying she could get us on the guest list. I leaped with joy! WHOOPAH!

It took place at Highlands Park, Chelmsford but is also touring to other parts of the county.

When I entered the festival the first thing I noticed was the huge screen on a stage playing classic parts of Friends episodes.

We walked around at first to check out what there was to do. There was the Moondance diner, a Mockolate stand, a photo booth where you can recreate the scene of the Vegas wedding and many other set recreations.

We headed to Joey and Chandler’s apartment first. They laid out the TV and loungers perfectly. Of course, we had to get a picture.

I was impressed with the chick and duck bar which had cocktails including- ‘How You Doin” and ‘Smelly Cat’. I went for the ‘Geller Cup’ and, although pricey, it was GOOOOD.

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The next thing we visited was Monica’s apartment. There always seemed to be a long queue for this but luckily, as we had guest list passes, we were able to get straight to the front, which is where we got a picture with the iconic sofa from the opening credits.

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It was a fantastic experience entering Monica’s apartment and feeling on the set of friends. It mainly consisted of queuing to have your picture taken at different parts of the apartment. We would have enjoyed aimlessly walking around and taking our time there but, with the amount of people eagerly waiting, I can understand their reasoning. Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it.

Excitedly, we first got a picture on Monica’s sofa and wandered passed her tele.

Next we spied on ugly naked guy through binoculars.

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Then we entered the kitchen and checked out Rachael’s thanksgiving trifle recipe and, of course, posed for photos.

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After this we walked over to the door and looked through the peep hole, hoping to get a peak of Joey and Chandler in the corridor. No such luck.

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Outside, not wishing to queue in the rain for Central Perk, we took shelter in the silent disco. Aka the set of Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve.

As the rain continued and the queue for Central Perk wasn’t getting any shorter we decided to brave the rain. Luckily they provided us with umbrellas.

It was fun walking through Central Perk but, again, it was just queuing up to have pictures taken. We were given aprons and I put my best Rachel face on.

We explored more of the small festival before finally going to the shop and buying some Friends souvenirs. I bought a Central Perk flask and tee shirt.

Overall I loved visiting Friends Fest. It bought years of watching the show to life. As there is not a huge amount to do there, apart from queuing up to have your photo taken for various sets, I would only recommend it to major fans of the show. Considering the success of this years festival I imagine there will be another tour next year so keep your eye out for tickets!

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Does anyone else frequently use friends quotes in their everyday conversations and feel a slight pang of disappointment when no one gets it. ‘You’re so far passed the line, you can’t even see the line! The line is a dot to you!’

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