When I saw that Friends Fest was coming to Newcastle I knew I had to go! I have been a Friends fan for as long as I can remember, often getting told to ‘shhh’ when watching episodes and repeating them word for word! Held in Castle Farm Fields on the outskirts of the city, fans get the chance to recreate a host of famous scenes such as the sofa PIVOT scene, the opening credits with umbrellas as well as getting the opportunity to visit 3 of the apartment sets! Various props are also laid around the festival in tents, my favourite being Phoebe’s 3d artwork. You can also stop by the famous Central Perk coffee shop, where you can hang out on the sofa and join in with a verse of ‘Smelly Cat’.
The 3 apartment sets that you can visit are: Ross’s (where you can recreate the UNAGI scene), Monica’s apartment, the setting of so many classic clips and Joey’s iconic apartment. It is any Friends fan dream to wander these sets and I was in complete awe to be able to get to experience them! Each year another new apartment is added, this year was Ross’s so be sure to look out for what’s new in 2019!
Fans are allocated a time slot for the set tours, as you can imagine it does get very busy once the group is allowed onto each set to take photos, so don’t be afraid to jump in the canoe or behind the curtain to get that photo you want as others don’t hang around! My favourite part of the tour had to be visiting Monica’s apartment, the backdrop of so many great scenes in the iconic TV show. There was so many great props laid out, a particular highlight was seeing the cookbook from which Rachael whips up her sweet and savoury trifle!
As well as visiting the sets, you can also grab some get iconic merchandise such as a bar of ‘mocklate’, your own real life Huggys or the poster that sits above Monica’s TV. I, of course made sure that I dressed for the occasion with a ‘we were on a break’ t-shirt that I picked up from Primark before the visit!
Most of the fest is laid out in large tents which is great as if like me you visit on a day of terrible weather – we even got stuck in Ross’s apartment on the tour due to heavy rain and wind outside! Though there is a huge screen set up with deck chairs playing episodes on a loop if you manage to visit on a sunny day! Although the tickets for the fest aren’t exactly cheap, it is such an amazing day out for any Friends fan, I am already waiting for the 2019 tour to be announced!