The Success Of 'Friends' Has Now Sparked Its Own Unique Festival
The 'Friends' festival proves the staying power of this hit 90s sitcom.
The lovable, emotional and wacky sitcom Friends is recognized as one of the most loved series across the world. The series was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman and followed the lives of six close friends living in Manhattan, where each character had their own unique backstory and they intertwined together as the show went on.
The American sitcom first aired on September 22, 1994 and came to an emotional close on May 6, 2004, lasting a total of 10 seasons. From Ross and Rachel being on a break to Monica and Chandler getting married, each season had a fresh and exciting story arc, making the audience always scream for more. Even with #Friends leaving air 13 years ago, millions of people still sit at home binge-watching the show and singing along to the theme song. There have been rumors of a reunion in the future, but these rumors keep getting shot down.
While we might not get a reunion anytime soon, there's always the next best thing: the exciting new UK festival, FriendsFest, which has been recently launched due to the continuing success of the sitcom.
Could This Be Any More Exciting?
Launched by Comedy Central, the festival titled FriendsFest gives hardcore Friends fans the opportunity to act as though they are actually living the life of Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross.
FriendsFest is the only place where fans get to stand in Monica and Rachel's apartment, as well as Joey and Chandler's apartment (new to 2017). Unlike many other set tours, like the ones for Harry Potter, you are given permission to touch actual props from the hilarious sitcom. This includes actual newspapers used in the show, looking through Monica's original peephole on the apartment door and even giving Joey's penguin, Hugsy, the biggest cuddle possible.
Not only that, FriendsFest lets you sit in the original barcaloungers and sitting on Monica's sofa with your feet up (don't let Monica see you have your feet on the table!).
Stop By Central Perk For A Coffee
Among all the other exciting attractions at the festival, the props at Central Perk itself have been brought to the UK for fans to sit and enjoy a coffee in the iconic New York coffee shop. The Central Perk set is scattered with every little bit of detail from the show, including the same rug, cups and even has the same seat and section where Phoebe famously sang "Smelly Cat."
Throughout the day, fans of Friends took to the stage in Central Perk to show off their guitar and singing skills by performing some of Phoebe's classic (and sometimes disturbing) tunes.
Recreate The Most Iconic Scenes
Grab those umbrellas — the Friends opening is about to look even cooler. Before your set-tour of the apartments, leap for that special sofa in front of the fountain to recreate the opening credits to the show. Members of staff are kind enough to take a photo for you while you fangirl/boy out, spinning those colorful umbrellas and posing on the incredibly comfortable sofa — and, of course, singing along to The Rembrandts.
Once you've caught your breath back from all that dancing, travel back in time to 1988 and take that ultimate Prom photo by dressing up as Monica, Prom Queen Rachel and Ross. Pose like it's a perfect night you'll never forget, even if Ross does have his keyboard. Or if that doesn't take your fancy, take a trip to Vegas and unexpectedly get married in the Vegas Chapel of Love.
Other Pieces Of Memorabilia
The original apartment sets may be the main spotlight of the event, but FriendsFest includes other pieces of memorabilia that stand out. Phoebe's grandmother's cab is located right in the center, giving fans the chance to sit in the back of the death trap vehicle while someone sits in the front, acting like Phoebe during her road rage.
Located just behind the cab is the Moon-Dance Diner where Monica had no option but to dress up and dance on the counter. Although Courteney Cox isn't there to dance to YMCA for you, it's definitely something worth recreating during your visit.
The One Where It Comes To An End
Where the festival lets fans touch the props, sit on the sofas and walk down that famous corridor, the festival also contains a large selection of delicate props and costumes that are situated in glass cabinets, which can only be handled by certain people.
Just before the studio tour begins you are shown some of the most famous costumes from the show including Ross' holiday armadillo costume and Rachel's Central Perk uniform. Taking center stage is the actual guitar Lisa Kudrow played in the show. The red guitar is said to now be worth a staggering $15,000 and must be transported to each location as carefully as possible.
However, good things must come to an end eventually, and FriendFest 2017 is preparing to pack up and close for another year. As it stands, the festival is expected to return to Sheffield, Cardiff, Manchester, Oxfordshire, Essex and London again next year. So, keep an eye out for the ads and be sure to get your tickets!