Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Preparing For The Twin Peaks UK Festival 2015!

The Twin Peaks UK Festival has become an annual event for my older sister and I who are Peaks fanatics living in London. We first attended in 2011 and have been nearly every year since. As soon as tickets were released online I snapped up a couple of VIPs for us and now, months later, the TP UK Fest is less than 3 weeks away! It is happening again and I am so excited...

For anyone who has never attended and is thinking of going, I urge you to get your tickets now and not to miss out on this spectacular event. This year for the first time it will run across an entire weekend in the amazing East London Genesis cinema. The organizers have promised the most ambitious festival to date and after revealing some secrets in the past few weeks it truly sounds like we will all be in for a very wonderful and strange weekend.

The festival was founded in 2010 by Lindsey Bowden, a Twin Peaks fan and producer. She realized nobody was doing anything in London to celebrate the show's 20 year anniversary and after putting the feelers out, managed to fly some of the original cast to London to attend what was then a small event for fans to share their appreciation of the show, drink coffee, eat doughnuts and meet some cast members together. Now, 5 years later, the festival has developed into an enormous sell out event.

Lindsey and her team work tirelessly to deliver the most high quality festival possible. Last year the venue was transformed into an other-worldly Lynchian dream. Attendees became shadowy figures against a glowing red, smoky bar area complete with 'bang bang bar' neon sign (or perhaps it was the ridiculous contact lenses I was wearing impairing my vision) and screaming log. Even a visit to the loo brought you into the world of Twin Peaks - there was a note on the back of the stall door reading 'Meet me at the Roadhouse' and pages from Laura's diary stuck to the walls.

Entertainment is provided by the Double R Club - a twisted, absurdist cabaret troupe inspired by Lynch and Twin Peaks. Sexy strip teases, humorous lymerics and even familiar faces from The Black Lodge eating fire, shocks and stuns the audience throughout the day.

My favorite part of the festival, as I'm sure many will agree, is the celebrity meet & greet and interview. I have had my Gold Box Set (I need to upgrade to Missing Pieces!) signed by some of my favorites and it has been a pleasure to meet them. Last year I fan-girled so much about meeting Sheryl Lee and she was the most lovely, sincere and sweet person. She reached out and squeezed my hand and all of the special guests take a lot of time to chat as much as allowed. They sit there for hours signing and smiling and never once seem annoyed about it. All of the cast appear to be still in love with the show as much as we are and have a lot of gratitude towards their crazy fans. I hadn't realized at first that none of them take a fee for attending - they are flown over and put up in London but they attend because they genuinely want to be there. This year the Festival has the largest line-up to date with Sheryl Lee/Laura Palmer, Dana Ashbrook/Bobby, Madchen Amick/Shelly, Kimmy Robertson/Lucy and Al Strobel/The One Armed Man all in attendance plus a performance by legendary singer Julee Cruise.

My sister and I with Dana Ashbrook and Sheryl Lee. We were Maddie and Laura - can't you tell?!
I hope that if you were thinking of attending, reading this will make you realize it is not worth missing out on! The festival will run over the 3rd and 4th of October and you can purchase your tickets directly from the Twin Peaks UK Festival website. Check the website for full venue details, schedule information and to see some really cool videos of past festivals.

I will be tweeting as much as I can on the day to keep anyone overseas and unable to attend in the loop as the weekend unfolds and be sure to report back here afterwards as The Blue Rose blog will feature a full weekend report!

Me with another Laura Doppelganger... Meanwhile...
For those attending for the first time, here are my tips to make the weekend extra special:
  • Dress up. Costumes are encouraged and I love seeing what amazing creations people come up with. I've been working on mine for a couple of months now..! It's also a great way to get chatting to fans you don't know. Who could resist striking up conversation with someone dressed as a ceiling fan?
  • Arrive on time. For the last two years I have arrived both late and hungover... and missed special messages from The Log Lady and the buzz of the doors opening to everyone and had to sneak into the cinema in the dark. I will not do this again and advise you don't either! I'll make sure I get an early night beforehand as the schedules are packed with activities and the days are long (but extremely enjoyable).
  • Merchandise. They have an amazing range of merchandise for sale so budget for this because even if you think you'll be able to resist a few purchases, I guarantee you won't! Nowhere else have I had the opportunity to buy such amazing Peaks merch. And buy early in the day because everything sells quickly.
  • Doughnuts & cherry pie. These are included in your ticket price so save some room. A damn fine cup of David Lynch coffee and a couple of doughnuts are the perfect breakfast at the start of the day.
  • Bring something to be signed. If you have a poster, photo, DVD boxset or Twin Peaks book which you love and want to get signed don't forget to bring it along.
  • Local dining. Every year time has been allotted to have dinner and we always like to get a break from the venue for an hour to sit down for a nice meal together (and a few glasses of wine). I would recommend Dirty Burger and Foxcroft & Ginger as great places to get some decent food nearby.
Let me know if you're attending and if you have any great stories from previous festivals to share comment below. I'm so looking forward to it this year. See you in the trees...

UPDATE 16th September: Sheryl Lee and Dana Ashbrook will sadly no longer be attending the festival. But at least we all know this is for an extremely good reason and they have already said they want to attend the festival next year instead. 

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