I hold my hands up: Nicole and I aren’t just tech geeks…we’re also major Friends geeks. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get together when I was back in the UK from Turkey to attend the FriendsFest in Heaton Park.
So here’s how the day went…
Arriving at FriendsFest
After a tasty McDonald’s breakfast in Manchester city centre, we collected our train tickets in Manchester Piccadilly and arrived just when the doors opened.
According to the BBC, Friends is the UK’s most popular subscription streaming show, so you can imagine why we wanted to show up early…we just knew the event would be packed. We were pretty lucky that the weather was sunny, considering it was all set up outdoors.
After a quick wander around the site to get our bearings, we were soon in the queue for our first photo op. The whole place was actually quite a lot smaller than we thought it would be, so getting our bearings didn’t take long; however, there was still plenty to see and do.
Taking Photos, Making Memories
Our first photo op was Ross and Rachel’s Vegas Wedding Chapel. There you can see a replica stand of the iconic Vegas chapel with the option to dress up with clothes and wigs so you can put yourself directly in the scene. We didn’t hold back on this one as you can see.
Next up, we made our way to Central Perk, which was a replica of the famous fictional cafe. There were so many photo opportunities from the famous logo on the window and menu chalkboard to that orange sofa with the umbrellas!
Stopping for a Break
The whole day wasn’t just about photo ops and fancy wigs. There was a great selection of lovely food and drinks. Monica’s diner had to be my favourite! In the centre of all this was a big stage with rows of deck chairs and tables, giving us the perfect chill-out space to watch clips of the most iconic Friends moments.
There were also plenty of shops filled with all the Friends merchandise you could think of: clothes, hoodies, notebooks, posters, mugs, and loads more.
Could This Friends Tour BE Any Better?
Last but not least, we booked our time slot for the all-important session: the set tour. Here we got to see Joey’s and Monica and Chandler’s made-to-measure apartments, where we could recreate our favourite scenes.
In this part of the festival, we got to see the museum, where we saw genuine Friends costumes and props used in the episodes, such as Phoebe’s world-famous guitar.
I’ll Be There for You
Overall, Nicole and I had a blast. The FriendsFest provided loads of opportunities to take photos, visit detailed replicas, and socialise with like-minded people who loved the show just as much as we did.