53 Reasons To Celebrate The First Ever “Girlie Pop Culture” Festival

Forever Fest is an entire weekend to enjoy girlie escapism in movies, books, and television. It made its debut in Austin, Texas last weekend, and it was perfect.

1. The two founders of Forever Fest are the cutest grown-ups in the world, Sarah Pitre (left) and Brandy Fons (right).

Annie Ray / foreverfest.com

2. Cool 12-year-old Tatum Mason designed their ridiculously adorable logo.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

 

Tatum also revealed on stage that her personal heroes are Zach Galifianakis and “Nicolas Cage in Con-Air.”

3. Walking into the Alamo Drafthouse theater where Forever Fest was held was like walking into the bedroom of your wildest pre-teen dreams.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

4. Everything around us had a rosy hue.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

5. There was even an extra-girlie drink menu, ensuring that every event was well-lubricated.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

6. Night one started with a screening of ’90s cult classic Empire Records, a 35mm print shown on the big screen!

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

7. The movie was preceded by a string of classic ’90s music videos that I hadn’t thought about in 15 years, like Dishwalla’s “Counting Blue Cars.”

8. Empire Records holds up.

Warner Brothers

And A.J. is still cute.

Warner Brothers

9. Liv Tyler’s Cory is a fashion icon…

Warner Brothers

Warner Brothers

 

She inspired a lot of the looks that night, naturally.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

10. Just in general, a girlie festival guarantees rad, themed outfits.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

11. The after-party featured a killer ’90s cover band, Zoodust.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

They filled their set with Gin Blossoms, No Doubt, and even a cover of Empire Records’ “Sugarhigh.”

12. There was plenty of Rex Manning to go around.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

13. And a photobooth to capture the excitement of actually living through Rex Manning day.

Annie Ray / Forever Fest

Annie Ray / Forever Fest

 
Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

14. Proving yet again that girls just want to have fun, Forever Fest partied hard all night long.

Warner Brothers

15. The next morning, BuzzFeed Animals sponsored THE CUTEST SHOW ON EARTH, a tribute to all of our favorite cat videos and funny babies.

SWNS

16. We played a game called “Can you get through these pictures without smiling?” with three contestants and a kid assisting.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

17. The contestants were shown a series of photos while my assistant Milo described them.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

18. The first contestant cracked at Ludwig the elephant…

19. The little dog who thought this entire parade was for him knocked out the second contestant, and our winner took home an amazing cat-themed prize package.

Yuri Cortez/AFP / Getty Images

20. The video show featured animals on trampolines, dogs greeting soldiers, important cats, giggling babies, baby goats, sloths, sleepy puppies, and so much more…

21. But the dog who waits patiently for his best friend to jump in a puddle was the crowd’s favorite.

22. The festival wasn’t just about movies and cute animals. We also celebrated the best of young adult literature.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

23. There was a YA book panel where Heather & Jessica, Megan McCafferty, and Kirsten Smith shared advice, stories, and secrets…

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

even photos of themselves in high school (pictured: Heather Cocks).

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

Kirsten Smith’s photos were particularly inspiring.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

24. Smith, who co-wrote 10 Things I Hate About You, also talked about how charming 18-year-old Heath Ledger was on set.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

She said that he convinced producers to hire his best friend from Australia to be his “personal assistant” during shooting.

Touchstone Pictures / Via giphy.com

25. The hilarious ladies of Go Fug Yourself related their stories of hanging out with Joan Rivers, and talked about the research they’re doing for their upcoming adult novel, the fictionalized story of Kate Middleton.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

26. McCafferty worked at teen magazines when she was in her early 20s — she interned at the late, great Sassy (RIP).

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

27. Ladies lined up to meet the authors and get their books signed, proving yet again that many of us are secretly teenagers for the rest of our lives.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

28. By the time Danceoke started, I was overwhelmed by how rewarding and positive it felt to be surrounded by women who weren’t afraid to squeal in public.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

29. And Danceoke is exactly what it sounds like: local dance troupes performing famous dance routines from movies and music videos live on stage.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

30. GLORIOUS.

31. Saturday night was 80s NIGHT (!)

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

32. There were free ’80s style blowouts available in the lobby.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

You could choose between the Pretty In Pink (beach waves), the Dirty Dancing (feminine curls), Clueless (straight and smooth), or Sixteen Candles (a perfect pony).

33. And together we watched every teenage girl’s dream come true in Sixteen Candles

Universal Pictures / Via giphy.com

34. Two of the cast-members were there to celebrate with us: Liane Alexandra Curtis, who played Molly’s BFF Randy is on the left, and Deborah Pollack, who played Marlene (aka “sexy girlfriend”) is on the right looking exactly the same.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

They were just as excited as all of their fans!

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

35. During their super-entertaining Q&A, the ladies spoke fondly of John Hughes and all the friendships they made on set.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

Deborah said that Hughes was always a teenager, and that he preferred their company to the grown-ups in Hollywood.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

They even told us one SHOCKING SECRET, but we all pinky swore not to tell.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

36. During the Q&A, Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong) and Blanche Baker both “surprised” Pollack with phone calls. Most of the cast is still friends, but no one really knows what happened to Jake Ryan.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

37. Sarah and Brandy vowed to make “Finding Jake Ryan” part of the mission of future Forever Fests.

Universal Pictures / Via caitlinrick1.wordpress.com

38. But Forever Fest wasn’t just for ladies, although there were a lot of us. It was for anyone willing to celebrate their inner teenage girl — dudes included.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

39. At the ’80s after party, there was a costume competition judged by none other than Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks of Go Fug Yourself.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

40. Not to mention coordinated group dance sequences.

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

41. And everyone finally got their own Jake Ryan moment.

Annie Ray / Forever Fest
Annie Ray / Forever Fest

42. The next morning, Brandy and Sarah managed to get all of us awake in time for THE WILD BRUNCH, a celebration of, well, men’s bodies.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

43. The day began with a rousing game of “Guess Those Abs”.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

Well, can you?

44. Then went on to feature 90 minutes of clips like this one…

Warner Brothers / Via giphy.com

And a lot of this guy…

Warner Brothers

But the biggest cheers were reserved for Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.

Vestron Pictures / Lionsgate

45. The show was so good that Sarah and Brandy were pretty much at a loss for words by the end. We all were.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

46. In the lobby, happy ladies could be photographed with either of their boyfriends, Channing Tatum…

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

or The Goz.

Annie Ray / Forever Fest

Megan McCafferty loves on her man Ryan Gosling.

47. A small fact: all good things must end. Forever Fest closed with an advance screening of The Book Thief.

20th Century Fox

48. The film was emotionally devastating, and all of the actors were incredible. Ben Schnetzer, who played Max, was a particular revelation.

Helouise Faure / Via heloisefaureportraits.com

49. The author of the book, Markus Zusak, joined Sarah and Brandy for a Q&A after the screening, where he told many of the stories of his parents that inspired “The Book Thief.”

50. He said so many interesting things after each simple question that time ran out too quickly. “The problem with being a writer,” he explained, “is that you spend so much time alone that when you’re in public you can’t shutup.”

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

51. When asked about the differences between reading and watching a film, Zusak remarked that “when you read a book, you go through all that alone. Then you come to a theater and you feel it together.”

20th Century Fox

52. Which totally sums up what FOREVER FEST was all about!

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

So much lady-centric entertainment is treated as a “guilty pleasure” or something you grow out of, and it was so great to have a place to celebrate it loudly. And in pink.

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

53. Forever Fest proved that dreams do come true. Even my dream of someday working at Empire Records…

Summer Anne Burton / BuzzFeed

LYLAS, Forever Fest!

Jack Plunkett / Forever Fest

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