Furry convention history project - can you help?
Fred Patten says,
I am writing a history of all Furry conventions from the first, in January 1989, to the end of 2010, when there were 42 of them around the world. This is 182 pages; almost 45,000 words. Most fans think that it is already too long, so I have stopped with 2010. There were 43 in 2011, and over 60 today.
Here are some sample entries and illustrations:
|Albany AnthroCon 1998 – Here Be Dragons||The Omni Albany Hotel, Albany, New York||July 3-5, 1998 (Attendance: 600)|
|GoH: Jeffrey A. Carver (s-f author), Jim Groat (Furry cartoonist); Fandom GoH: Dr. Samuel Conway|
|Charity: Whiskers, a cat rescue group ($3,092)||Chair: Roger Wilbur (Aloyen Youngblood)|
The activities of the first AnthroCon were repeated and expanded upon. There were special interest group meetings; panels on such subjects as anthropomorphic-animal advertising mascots and “Cleaning Up Our Past”; a puppet show by Steve Plunkett and a Story Hour by Uncle Kage; and a Saturday-night performance by Purple Nurple Live! The previous year’s Moreau Awards were not repeated; the committee considered them a failure since only about twenty members out of 500 had bothered to attend and vote. The 44-page Program Book had a cover by Jim Groat. The AnthroCon had over forty staff members; Roger Wilbur was the official Chairman (CEO), but most of the convention was coordinated by Jonah E. Safar as Organizational Director. The T-shirt was by Jim Groat. There was general agreement that a larger hotel was needed for next year.
|ZonieCon 2001||Best Western Executive Inn, Tucson, Arizona||October 19-21, 2001 (Attendance: 57)|
|GoH: Anthony M. Waters (s-f artist)||Chair: Scott Malcomson|
The convention was dedicated to the memory of Michael-Scot McMurry, the creator of the convention’s mascot, Zonie the Coyote, who had died in April. ZonieCon 2001 was billed as “The Con That Would Not Die”, since it was returning after a one-year hiatus. It also suffered from a hotel that did not know that it was supposed to have a convention, due to the staffer who had signed the contract having left without telling anyone. Fortunately, that hotel did its best to honor the contract. The main problem was that the hotel had chosen that weekend of “no business” to remodel all the rooms, and the workmen had already started tearing them up. The Best Western manager got two nearby hotels to accept the conventioneers as “overflow” guests, and cleaned up one of its own function rooms for ZonieCon. Since the rooms were going to be painted anyway, the fans were allowed to graffiti all over them with markers.
That was the last ZonieCon, though. Most of the attendees had been personal friends of the likeable and outgoing McMurry, and his lingering, painful death set a pall over the convention. Mostly, it was the result of Scott Malcolmson’s moving from Tucson to Phoenix. He gave other Tucson fans his permission to continue the convention, but none cared to do so; especially since Malcolmson had personally lost $600 on the last ZonieCon.
|EuroFurence 8 – Furry Intelligence Agency||The Jugendherberge Hilders-Oberbernhards youth hostel, Oberbernhards, Germany|
|GoH: Dr. Samuel C. Conway (Uncle Kage)||Chair: Sven Tegethoff (Cheetah)||August 15-18, 2002 (Attendance: 260, estimated)|
EuroFurence 8 had a full program of panels, workshops, and Special Interest Groups. The “Sweet Treats” workshop by Fjordwolf, on how to make tiramisu and cream cakes, was especially popular. There were two Internet Rooms, a Sponsors’ Lounge, and a Fursuit Lounge, in addition to the usual Art Show and Dealers’ Den. A frequent shuttle service was set up between the hostel and the nearest DB train station at Fulda, forty kilometers away (a one-hour round trip). The third DoPE puppet show was titled F.I.A. around the theme. “The president of the Furry Intelligence Agency decides to remove the perverted subjects from the furry fandom. Especially Poke the sex-crazed big-mouthed ferret is on his list. […]” There was a round-the-clock Video Room, a Thursday afternoon barbeque, and campfires every night. The closing event was the Saturday night FurDance, with Karsten Auchter (BigBlueFox) and Loewi as DJs. 24 designs were submitted for the T-shirt contest, which was won by Philipp Peteranderl (Silber) and Vitani Da Real. Cheetah, Jumpy, and Tabalon were joined on the convention committee by Richard Wagensveld (Watani) and Maik Duismann (Kralle).
|Conifur Northwest 2003||The Sheraton Tacoma Convention Center, Tacoma, Washington||September 26-28, 2003 (Attendance: 523)|
|GoH: Grrrwolf (Furry artist), Chuck Melville (artist/writer)|
|Charity: Washington State Ferret Rescue and Shelter ($3,011)||Chair: Shandower|
Longstanding director Tibo stepped down to the head of Technical Services. The good news was that Conifur Northwest did not have to share the hotel with another convention this year; the bad news was that, since Conifur did not have the special circumstance of having an old contract to be honored, the Sheraton Tacoma charged its usual rates which were considerably higher. The hotel management was not as friendly as the Best Western’s had been; Tibo: “This was the hotel where we discovered why our contract needed to have a clause that the restrooms should remain open and unlocked, for example.” The Art Show auction brought $11,000. The Daily Howl newsletter was continued. The second Fursuit Challenge, to construct a ferret mascot, was successful. A Yiff: The Card Game was played for the first and only time. The 2003 T-shirt was by Grrrwolf.
|ČeSFuR 4||Sluneční zátoka (Sun Bay) campground, Ledeč nad Sázavou, Czech Republic||March 21-24, 2008 (Attendance: 74)|
|Charity: an animal rescue station in Pavlov, of the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (about 12,000 Kč ($665))|
|Chair: None. Organizers (the orgateam) included Altair, Ihaha, Mbili, Mysh, Peso, RustyFox and Xkun.|
Events included the previous, plus an Art Show, a photo contest, a DDR tournament, a Fursuit Show, a band concert by The Puppits, and games inspired by TV game shows. The T-shirt was by Akela Taka and Janys.
This was the last ČeSFuR to take place in the spring. Because of particularly cold weather and related discomfort experienced by con-goers in 2008, a decision was made after that year's con to move the event to summer months, and permanently switch to hotel accommodation.
|Kemocon 2||Exhibition room 4F, Kawasaki City Industrial Promotion Hall, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo, Japan|
|Organizers: KemoConProject (Muddyfox, Altia, Ryoga, OTK, PANJA!, Leon)||November 28, 2009 (Attendance: 220)|
Kemocon 2 was organized like a traditional convention. There were no memberships, but there was a ¥1,000 admission. 11:00 a.m., doors open. 11:30 a.m., opening ceremony and changing into Fursuits for entrance parade. 11:45 a.m., rock-scissors-paper tournament. 12:15 p.m., introduction to Fursuit characters (on overhead projector). 12:45 p.m., Fursuit Parade of characters. 1:15 p.m., group photo of Fursuits. 1:30 p.m., free time (socializing and lunch). 2:30 p.m., musical chairs. 3:10 p.m., dance party. 4:10 p.m., free time (relaxing after the dance). 4:40 p.m., lottery. 5:10 p.m., closing ceremony and opening of dressing room to change out of Fursuits. 6:00 p.m., room closed. There were almost 60 Fursuits in the group photo.
Many Furry conventions have been very helpful in answering questions, but some profiles are full of question marks. None have refused to participate, but some have ignored three or four e-mails. (With some, I am not sure I even have their correct address. Does anyone have an address for the discontinued FranFurences in France?). Others have replied that they are very busy, but that they will answer soon. After more than six months, I am not holding my breath.
Many questions are for things that happened at the conventions such as how much was donated to the charity and how many were in their Fursuit Parades, which could not be listed in their pre-con publications, and were not recorded in their records. Some outstanding questions:
- What were the charity donations for Furry Spring Break (2001), ConFurence 12 (2001), Megaplex 2 (2003) and 3 (2004), and Conifur Northwest 2002?
- How many Fursuits were in the Fursuit Parade at Further Confusion 2003?
- Who did the T-shirts for Midwest FurFest 2001 and C-ACE 2005?
- Several convention reports for Conifur Northwest 2002 complained that it had to share the hotel with another convention, but nobody said what the other convention was. Does anyone remember?
Some conventions that I need more information about include CaliFur, ConFurence, Furloween, Mephit Mini Con, Morphicon, and RusFURrence. There are others. Please contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in helping out.