After a little hiatus, I’m back with an exciting post all to do with THE best tv show that ever existed… Friends!
For those unfortunate few who have never heard of Friends, it’s a major hit tv sitcom that aired in the US between 1994 and 2004. The series had 10 seasons, 236 episodes and over 14 years later it’s still widely popular if not more so now than ever, especially over here in the UK.
Why am I rambling about a TV show you may ask? Well Comedy Central has created its very own FriendsFest! Since 2015, every summer, a tour based around the tv show travels up and down the country for the sole purpose of thrilling Friends fans, allowing us to walk around replica sets and feel like we were part of the famous 6… Could we BE anymore excited?!
My best friend and I are HUGE Friends fans and we actually attended FriendsFest a few years back so it was only right we went again. Every year the tour adds more exclusive features and improves fans experiences which we can definitely vouch for. However, the only thing that comes with more features though is having to pay more for the ticket! The price for 2018’s tour was roughly £30 per person, this includes entry and set tours.
The London location was set up in Kennington Park, over grassy areas which meant it was easily accessible for all. Each attraction had its own dedicated area under large tents, luckily the Tuesday evening we went the weather was on our side as the event is mainly outdoors. The areas within the attraction includes: Monica and Rachel’s apartment, Chandler and Joey’s apartment, the Hallway between the two and brand new for 2018; Ross’s apartment (formerly Ugly Naked Guy’s!). As well as these, famous scenes from the show could be recreated like; The Title Scenes, Central Perk, The ‘Pivot’ scene, Ross and Rachel’s Vegas Wedding and Phoebe’s Grandmas Cab to name a few. There was also food and drinks on site, all adding to the Friends theme like Joey’s Pizza, Phoebe’s Vegetarian Buffet (see what they did there?), a Mockolate cart and Oh My God Hot Dog’s, all of which could be enjoyed while watching some famous episodes of the show on the giant screen slap bang in the middle of the attraction, which I personally thought was a nice touch.
The set tours are split into half hour time slots, which are allocated to you at the time of booking. Each tour had around 25 people in it as well as a tour guide who gave introductions, told us cool facts that we didn’t know about the show and even offered to take photos for us if we so wished. Before your time slot, the tour guide presents iconic props from the show, a few of them actually used on set like Gladys Phoebe’s hideous art piece (which is apparently now worth a whopping £18,000!), The Geller Cup, Mrs. Braverman’s Cheesecake and Hugsy Joey’s penguin to name a few! It did get a little crowded as we were waiting for the tour but after a short while we were shown interviews of the cast on a large TV from the early stages of the hit tv show.
Finally, the tour of the actual sets began. First you see Joey and Chandler’s apartment, then the hallway between theirs and Monica’s, Monica and Rachel’s apartment and the last stop is the new Ross’s apartment. The sets themselves are so incredibly detailed and it’s so surreal to see in person, it literally feels like I’ve walked right into my tv! Every little detail is perfect down to a T, like Rachel’s meat trifle for example! The time you get to spend in each apartment is roughly 10 minutes which seems like a long time to look around but with all the other people with you the time flies and its actually pretty difficult to get decent photos. The sets are all pretty small too so you can imagine the amount of photobombs happening, so don’t expect to get perfect photos especially since people will be queuing to take photos in the same spot! One thing I thought was great though, the tour guide asks everyone to step off set before you move on, to allow everyone to get empty apartment pictures. The tour did feel a tiny bit rushed but with the hundreds of fans they had to squeeze in to see everything, it’s totally understandable why.
In comparison to my previous experience at FriendsFest, I think the event has vastly improved. Comedy Central have recreated a lot more of the show that fans definitely enjoy seeing, there’s also a lot more features to interact with like grabbing a coffee in Central Perk, which we sadly missed out on last time! There is also more staff on hand to take pictures for you, which me and my friend found incredibly hard last time as there was only two of us and we wanted pictures together. The tour guides are a LOT more enthusiastic and make the whole experience that little bit better. The event is very well organised and even the little details are considered which made the FriendsFest a well worth it evening out. If you’re a Friends fan I would 100% recommend you snap up tickets next time as I’m sure they’ll be adding more exciting features. Will I be going? That’s like asking Joey if he likes food… OF COURSE!
I feel like this post has been a long one, nonetheless I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramble! Until next time…