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Anthro Northwest premier forgets history of Furlandia's rough first year

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Washington state has had a rough time with furry conventions in recent history. Rainfurrest had to shut down after they gained a sour reputation with hosting hotels due to reports of vandalism. So local furries were elated to hear of a new organization starting up by the name of Anthro Northwest. This convention, while a bit more stringent on their rules (particularly around adult material), was a welcome possible restart in relations with hotels in the region with furries.

But as activities started word leaked onto the internet of on camera release forms being deseminated for a show called "This is Life with Lisa Ling", a property of the channel CNN. Instantly locals had recollections of another incident that had occurred at another pilot convention one state south, Furlandia.

Update 11/15/17: Attendance has been announced and Anthro Northwest has been noted as being the largest attendance for a first year furry convention at 809, article updated to reflect this.

First Furlandia’s Folly

In 2013, many young and strapping furry conventions were borned to the world, each of which were covered by Flayrah. There was Fur the’ More north of the Baltimore metro area, Biggest Little Furcon in the tourist trap of Reno, and lastly Furlandia which is hosted in the eccentric city of Portland, Oregon. While we had no one on the ground for the last article, a lot of negative publicity had gushed from the, then young itself, platform of Twitter.

What had triggered this firestorm was that attendees had learned that MTV had been invited to do shootings for a documentary there. There was only a simple mention of this at opening ceremonies, but no other public facing statements. More details can be found in my article Furlandia: Portland's first furry convention overshadowed by MTV controversy.

There are three four bits of silver lining for the new Seattle convention in comparison to the Furlandia incident:

  • Anthro Northwest did release a statement regarding the situation as soon as the issue as the information was spreading instead of waiting until after the convention to make a public statement. They made good use of their public facing social media accounts showing that the fandom's experience with the medium has grown.
  • Furlandia, despite the blunder, has had several years of successful and less controversial events. It continues to see an increase in attendance every year. An asterisk on that second point that of the three mentioned debuting in 2013 it is the slowest growing convention, but that could be due to other factors as well. But in short this shows that a incident like this is not a convention killer as some on social media seem to fear.
  • The show and organization they chose is a lot less controversial than Viacom’s MTV was at the time Furlandia had vetted them. Viacom’s CBS and MTV were responsible for the media blunders such as CSI’s Fur and Loathing episode and Sex2k which many furries still hold as some of the most infamous bits of media on the fandom.
  • Attendence number out of the gate set a record for a first year con at 809! This more than likely was helped by the implosion of a top 10 attended convention in the local area. Thanks to Munchkin in the comment section for providing the number, couldn't find it on official channels.

Looking to the future

However, despite these improvements to the problem compared to the predecessor, the underlying communication issue still remains. If you’re going to have a major media outlet at your convention for a documentary, it should be practice to let the attendees know as soon as the decision is made. The lack of transparency not only harms the furry gathering, but it also puts undue suspicion on the organization there recording. The animosity received by Lisa in this case is also the result of the improper disclosure.

By not discussing it, the convention allows the general public to set the narrative and the tone regarding the media presence. So when people who complain about individuals who blow the whistle say they’re "not official sources", their point is moot. By not discussing such an action with the attendees, one that many would care about, the 'official sources' are in essence giving the general public permission to be the first to open the discussions on the matter when they inevitably find out at the convention itself.

Their conchair had signed off on this media agreement on 9/20/17, silence for the 2 months is more than likely going to be seen as unacceptable to your attendees and the source of their ire. It should be the public relation staff’s responsibility to try and get the first hand in announcing decisions and putting it into the public sphere. By doing so, even if there are those that disagree with the decision, the seeds of distrust would not be planted because the staff was upfront about the controversial decision.

Like Furlandia, many furries are counting on you to do the right thing on your way out the gate. My hope is that lessons learned about the issues at this convention are recorded to make for a stronger second year and another growing and successful convention. And honestly, I hope this is the last article I have to write about this kind of situation, as it is easily preventable. Learn from your neighbors and talk with one another, because those that forget history have a tendency to repeat it. Let’s not have this happen a third time.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

This is the third time. There was a similar media presence blowup with ConFurence 2003.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Wait... Amongst our relations with the media have included such diverse conventions as... I'll come in again. (Monty Python joke)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

...And an almost fanatical devotion to Anubis. Now... Give the rack a turn!

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

There were so many bizarre rumors about this con. Can any actual attendees offer some insight?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

What sort of insights are you looking for? The convention was fairly average for a first-time run (which I say as someone who was at both this, and Furlandia's first-year as well). Both had made some... curious mistakes that should've been caught before the con had signed a contract, let alone began to advertise.

I'm sure that furry-convention space in post-RF Seattle isn't something that's easily obtained, but the Renaissance hotel lacked crucial "hang-out" space and easy access to a lot of amenities critical for fursuiters and non-suiting attendees alike. For instance, bathroom signage was fairly absent, and there was a lack of convention maps both on website and in paper. The only actual map given was on the hotel's electronic signage which wasn't too useful.

The headless lounge (or "Performers Lounge", as it was labeled) was on the third floor by the panel rooms, separate from the main events stage by a flight of stairs or elevator ride. Obviously, for an overheating fursuiter coming from the Games or a dance, it's not particularly acceptable to have to wait in a stuffy elevator or tromp up stairs. Water was fairly accessible during con, at very least, along with lengthy straws for suiters.

Currently, it doesn't seem very probable for the convention to grow further than the size it was for its first year. While Friday and Sunday weren't terribly cramped (I did not attend on Thursday), there was barely any room on Saturday to move around in. The vendor's room was in a mostly acceptable location, but registration and the convention's store was poorly placed in high-traffic areas.

ANW billed itself as an all-ages convention, but a better description would be a "children-focused" convention. In trying to keep its official Telegram chat and convention space at a PG level, censorship reached impressively high levels; even the most level-headed criticism was met with deletion and banning from the chat. For example, Tojo the Thief had expressed dissatisfaction with their vendor's space location, as it was outside of the dealer's den and they'd be unable to leave their things unattended overnight. While they were fairly level-headed in the official telegram chat, their posts were subsequently deleted and Tojo was removed from the chat. There had been reports of a majority of room parties also being shut-down, as well. While understandable from the hotel's perspective, room parties were some of the few places that PG-13 and beyond activities could occur, and by clamping down upon them, attendance will probably be hurt next year.

With its child-friendly (or "all-ages") reputation, however, ANW attracted a significant number of minor attendees. Whether or not this is a positive or negative is a matter of opinion, of course-- but when DJs need to have all their music pre-screened for swearing and other non-SFW things there is definitely a downside. An age-based curfew may be best for future iterations of ANW, in which 18+ panels and dances are held after 10 or 11 PM.

Misinformation was also rampant upon Twitter as well-- with allegations of diapers in ballpits (fake news, despite the ballpit being shut-down on Saturday), claims of Lisa Ling asking fursuiters how they have sex in their suits, and more.

If there's anything in specific you want to hear about, let me know.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (10 votes)

Why does anyone think a "children-focused" convention is a good idea? Children have all sorts of fun things. I live in the real world and I wanna cut loose and wear (a harness) and (have drinking parties) and whatever. They can go to Chuck-E-Cheese until they are 18 and stay out of my business.

Gearing conventions towards underage and censoring the heck out of it is going against the forces of nature.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

I dont see anything wrong with having a furry convention that solely focuses G to PG rated content. Minors can take their parents to see the costumes, artwork, and so forth without having to worry about their parents running into anything Adultish that may put them off. Parents can also take their kids to, again, see the costumes, artwork, and so forth without having to worry about seeing any adult content. Kinda breaking them into the furry fandom, so to speak. I do agree however, that they didnt handle the whole thing in the bestest of ways...

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Having a convention that is G~PG rated can allow for sponsorships, which was one of the things that the con-founder mentioned in his video regarding the creation of ANW.

You would've been free to wear a harness and have drinking parties within your own hotel room (provided noise was kept to a minimum).

I do disagree with the "rating" of the con, however. Plenty of other conventions in the area (such as Sakuracon, an anime/manga/games convention) can have more risque artwork for sale, minor attendees, and a PG-13 atmosphere while still maintaining sponsorships.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (7 votes)

Man, you really don't like kids, do you? What developmentally-average 12 year old do you know that wouldn't feel embarrassed at a Chuck E Cheese? Do you think there's really no room for a transitional period between that and fetish-drinking-parties?

We all live in the real world. Kids aren't alien or subhuman larva. They're just people at a different developmental point. They have just as much a need for recreation and "cutting loose" as adults. Sure, kids have things to do (in many places). So do adults, and to me, it seems like the pool of "kid stuff" is shrinking. Fewer kid-friendly games have been made since like, 2010. My Little Pony markets to adults and has to include enough "grownup humor" to let bronies justify their interest to relatives.

Your same logic could be turned back around--if seeing a teenie bopper having fun harshes your vibe so much, why don't you go to one of the 18+ only conventions?

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (8 votes)

It looks like Antrhro NW is fulfilling a need in the community especially as furs are discovering the fandom at a early age or multi furry fans where the children are born and raised in the fandom.
The are plenty of 18+ events so let them have their furry day in the sun.

Now if you are the same person who gave me and Gene Armstrong on his Facebook page a load of profanity then you need anger counseling or just deal with it.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)

I think lots of rumors were stemmed from the lack of transparancy for the media presence I feel.

Particularly, one easily disproved rumor was one where they claimed the con was simply made for the CNN media to get furries in one place. There was a similar rumor for Furlandia that I recall. But their news site indicates that they have con dates for several years out.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

I agree that there was a significant lack of transparency-- both in how they handled criticism within the official Telegram chat as well as the Lisa Ling controversy. However, I do believe that many rumors were also spread due to outside individuals wanting some sort of drama or controversy to happen. Some individuals making such claims as "diapers in the ballpit" (for example) were not at the convention at all, but had their remarks propagated through Twitter if just because "Well, Rainfurrest had 'X', so it makes sense that ANW would have the same problems."

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

I think there are furries who despise the idea of a PG convention and those ran by those of a certain religion for sure. Would it have still happened if the Lisa thing didn't happen? More than likely.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

So the rumors about the con founders were true? That and the anti-NSFW policy make me wary of the con's intentions. Couple that with the extreme levels of censorship...I really don't know what to think. There's a lot of red flags here that I have a hard time writing off as typical furry drama.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

The anti-NSFW policy is such that they can get sponsors for the convention (such as NFT and C&H this year). Two of the con founders are new to the furry community, in the sense that ANW was their first exposure to it (as displayed on the ANW website).

In addition, they're "highly encouraged" to not make political or religious statements as seen by their belief statement: http://anthronw.com/about/beliefs.pdf

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

I don't know, call me paranoid but I question their motives for founding this con. They have no connection to the community and based on the logistical problems mentioned above didn't even bother to reach out to other cons for advice. I guess I just don't understand why outsiders would care about creating a furry convention.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

"didn't even bother to reach out to other cons for advice"

You're aware that they are citing Anthrocon's policies and Kage was a featured presenter at the con, right?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

No I was not. I was basing that on Vince's post stating some of the problems with crowds and poor placement of the headless lounge, registration and dealers den.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

As far as I read that's just the layout of the hotel they had to work with, in a post-Rainfurrest area where beggers couldn't be choosers for hotels. Now that this con had a healthy attendance, things may be looking up.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Reading their website is so funny, particularly the biographies of their "board members". They're only identified by what I assume are pseudonyms, and not only is there no indication they've had any experience with conventions before, they'd never even heard of it before they decided to run a convention for it? Is that normal?

And they don't use the word "furry" like, anywhere. They have a section talking about anthropomorphic animal personas and they all but trip over themselves trying not to use the word "fursona". My guess is that "furry" is so connected to PG-13 or worse stuff (or it is in their mind) that not using it is more professional. Just comes off as condescending somehow.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Heard one person say the reason they avoided the word furry was because of the flags (or fear of the flags) it would raise with hotels in the state because of Rainfurrest.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Hey, that's a good point. I understand DenFur has had to contend with similar obstacles too.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Not really, hell, they're using the same hotel RMFC used last year. NSFW art is allowed too. And there website states they are "Colorado's premier furry convention"

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

I spoke to people "behind the scenes" of the convention as they searched for a hotel. My understanding was that the biggest problem was that they were initially being overcharged. RMFC's problems weren't really about hotels, though, unlike RF, so the damage in reputation with them was lesser.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

There's a heck of a story there, but not yet.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

It's intentionally not a "furry" con, the founder Gabriel says as much in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZUHHs9B4YM

I've heard rumors that "furry" is essentially a black-listed word for convention centers and hotels in the Seattle/Washington area, but that's hearsay.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I glanced through the About page now and there's very little indication that they have any involvement with the furry community. All the bios talk about other stuff. There's no "x found the furry fandom in whatever and has been involved ever since."

Then the whole anthropomorphic art section is adapted from Anthrocon. That also seems weird to me. Why not say in your own words what this means to you. Given the other questions, it just sounds like they don't know what they are talking about but needed something to put there.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I noticed that when I was reading a few of Anthrocon's pages last night looking for references for an article on WikiFur, the plagiarized phraseology. That's hot, right? That's what we want with our "anthropomorphic" art? Plagiarism?

I wonder if anyone behind the convention is reading this right now. Somebody was savvy enough to create a WikiFur account and write an article about the convention back in May, and they later went on to edit the Aquatifur article when they discovered a broken link. Someone knows more than it might seem looking at the biographies. Or maybe they're really, really into learning about the fandom and other conventions to make a good impression. I like that idea.

If any Anthro NW staff is reading this, I'd love to chat.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

I didn't attend the convention, but I watched the drama unfold on Twitter over the weekend and there are quite a lot of points to make. First, FemboyLolcow has posted a useful condensed (interpreted) summary of the drama. Now I'm going to play the Devil's advocate here.

Should all furry cons be run the same way? No, we'd have a very boring fandom. If you don't like how a con is run... don't go. Does this one con represent a threat in some way? There are so many other cons to choose from. If that's difficult for your budget/location, well, tough. Throw your support into Furvana, or organize other local events that better suit your needs. Like Camp Feral, which didn't want to be a hotel con.

But they banned X. Well, judging by the numbers, a lot of people didn't seem to care. If what makes the fandom important to you is so narrowly focused - maybe you need to expand your interests. According to Nuka's research, over 80% of the fandom is fine with both clean and/or mature content.

AnthroNW wasn't a non-profit? So what? Furry conventions tend to have make-or-break budgets, regardless of legal structure. Megaplex was for-profit; I don't remember anyone raising eyebrows about them.

But the con chair is Christian. Again, so what? Let's pretend that he's the only Christian con chair the fandom's ever had in its entire existence. So if it's ok to rant against con chairs for their beliefs, like religion/politics/sexuality - can we attack any con chair if they're, say, straight, a libertarian, and an athiest? If an atheist/straight person is on board, what, the spirituality and LGBT panel tracks are going to be under threat? Let's take a look at some furry cons where the staff weren't supposedly tainted by religious ideology, like RainFurrest - oh wait, that died. No problem, how about RMFC? You know, the con with a non-zero number of alt-right people on staff and ran pretty well for years and most of the fandom didn't notice or care.

A convention is not its con chair. Kage's had to deal with this bullshit, Mark Merlino before him - a convention is a group endeavor. Yeah, they're probably going to rope in some friends, but it's going to take a lot more people than friends. Most of these cons have boards, department heads, tons of volunteers. The top people don't have the power of dictators, cult leaders or hypnotists. If they're not willing to cooperate with others, the con's not gonna happen. Statistically, regardless of the con chair's beliefs, around two-thirds of furries at any con are LGBT. Also, read AnthroNW's Statement Regarding Personal Beliefs.

Who's to say a con's policies won't shift over time, for better or for worse? The Seattle hotel system was so poisoned against furries, can you seriously not accept any level of damage control, like avoiding the word "furry" and having a staff person who wasn't part of the previous crews? Let them build up trust with the hotel chains again. Let's re-name Anthrocon to Furrycon if this is so critical.

But they screwed some things up. Show me a con that doesn't make mistakes, especially first-year cons. An important distinction is whether a problem primarily affects an individual (like Tojo) or if it's systemic. Will the problems repeat? Well we don't know because there's only been one AnthroNW so far. Give them the chance to learn, adjust. I remember Further Confusion for many years really liked training new staff, so every 2-3 years some of the staff positions would have new people. One department would be really good for a few years, and then for one year that department would be kinda wobbly all of a sudden. Anyway, regarding AnthroNW, over the weekend I heard some individual complaints, but I didn't hear a ton of people at the con all making systemic complaints. (Lots of people outside the convention talking shit. Plus Tojo going full anti-AnthroNW.) On the positive side, I saw lot of compliments to A/V tech crew. Good job!

The CNN/Lisa Ling thing - con staff could've given better forewarning, given how paranoid the fandom can be with the media. As for how CNN might use the con footage for other purposes - uhh... you do realize it's standard for TV stations to keep footage? Like for playing film clips of WWII soldiers to commemorate their efforts on Veteran's day, which was also this weekend?

Yes, the fandom's had hatchet jobs by the mass media. We've got trust issues. So when something goes bad - we deal with it. Like when an online magazine misrepresented and altered an image of a furry dealer's booth in the last year, we called them out on it. But hey, we've had far more positive news coverage than negative since 2009 or so. But what if we trusted the wrong people and they use it against us? Well, you know where there's tons of furry footage? On YouTube, uploaded by furries. And yep, it's used against us, trolls making "cringe" compilations - and the fandom's survived. Be less paranoid. Be diligent ahead of time when dealing with the mass media - but for this one instance, it's too late now. Wait and see if we trusted the wrong people. Improve the communication with con-goers in the future.

For a first-time con, there were over 800 people! Considering RainFurrest's peak two years before was 2700, that's a great turnout!

To anyone reading this post: Did you attend AnthroNW? If yes, reply with your experiences! Did you have a good time? Dealers, how were sales? Buyers, did you like the selection? Fursuiters, how'd things go? Any systemic issues? Anyone enjoy a room party? Include a link to a photo, or to a tweet or a Facebook post to show you were there! Do you know someone who went to AnthroNW but doesn't read Flayrah? Poke them to say something!

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

A lot of things I agree with you but I'm going to point out a couple things.

1. NSFW

It's not about being closed minded, it's about having options. I'm not obsessed with mature art (I'd say it's about 50/50) but I like to have the choice. Not to mention artists being limited to what they can sell based on a cons whim, for some of them selling mature is a major source of income. I understand furry's reputation in the Pacific NW is in tatters and it may not have been possible, but it's important to remember that this does have a negative affect on some people.

2. As for the media, the biggest issue was not having a clear media policy, which most cons do. For instance Furry Fiesta's policy states

"All footage obtained at the convention must only be used in regards to the convention itself and must be used as one continuous segment."

By failing to establish clear policy Anthro NW allowed CNN to walk all over them to their attendees detriment.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

I mean, choices are a good thing, but there should also be choices for groups and organization to have goals for their organizations that vary in the experiences they wish to provide. It's something I noted would start to manifest given the quantity of conventions. They may start to segregate into different convention styles.

Yerf, for instance, is an art archive that is for general audiences and didn't allow adult works. Sure the artists had less freedom to post whatever they wanted, however if a consumer was looking to enjoy furry art without risk of the NSFW filter failing it was a good site to go to.

But by doing such a thing, Yerf obviously restricts its audience, if a furry wants to consume adult artwork or doesn't mind it, they will probably prefer sights where it is present. Similarly restricted cons will have a cap to their audience, and by the sounds of it, that may be a good thing given how crowded it got regardless.

I will say at least they started from the point of restriction instead of moving goal posts like Anthrocon did with Bad Dragon and such.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Well TBF it's unusual for a furry convention to take this approach, I've certainly never heard of one pushing a "family friendly" atmosphere. There is the general the expectation that it's an event where adults like to cut loose and have fun. It not be possible in the foreseeable future to have a "traditional" furry con in the Pacific NW, but I do think it will be to be cons detriment and limit its ability to grow.

I was under the impression the whole Anthrocon/Bad Dragon situation was due to some bad blood between Kage and Varka. Then again, does Bad Dragon go to any furry conventions?

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

I believe I read on Vivisector (so please read with the word "RUMOR" firmly implanted in your brain), but one year Bad Dragon made some mini-dildoes that basically were meant as free promotion, and the hotels were finding them in their lobby couch cushions, like, months later, so they asked Kage to do something about it, so Bad Dragon got banned.

Even if this story is true, it could be more of a "straw that broke the camel's back" situation, with either "cleaning up the con" or "bad blood" (or even both) being the real reason.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

They're still at MFF I do believe which has an adults only section of the dealers den. I believe I met the staff of Bad Dragon at MFF 2015 or 2014 in passing.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

"The Seattle hotel system was so poisoned against furries, can you seriously not accept any level of damage control, like avoiding the word "furry" and having a staff person who wasn't part of the previous crews? Let them build up trust with the hotel chains again."

On the other paw, using the term furry lets you show that furries can be better. If you don't use the term then either none of the goodwill is reflected onto the furry community or the people running the hotels are not completely idiots and see through the ruse.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

But the con chair is Christian. Again, so what?

Sure, absolutely agreed. If it were just that.

This is also a con chair who, I believe and I'm trying to find the twitter links, wouldn't stand for or state his beliefs about the lgbt community. As a person who openly identifies as transgender, that makes me nervous. How can I trust the con chair, or the con, etc.

It may not seem like a big deal to you, and sure you get the privilege of saying "don't go" but I don't know. this doesn't seem like the furry fandom I have come to know and love.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

http://www.cnn.com/videos/health/2017/09/07/this-is-sex-with-lisa-ling.cnn

"This Is Sex with Lisa Ling"

you're welcome to view for yourself with she's good for the con or not.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Didn’t the first Megaplex in Orlando go through this, with its emphasis that “we are a clean funny-animal convention, not a furry convention”? They were calling themselves a furry convention within a few years.

To change the subject, the list here of past Washington-Oregon furry conventions starting with RainFurrest seems to relegate the first of them all into oblivion: Conifur Northwest, in Seattle for seven or eight years. Doesn’t anyone remember it?

Fred Patten

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Yes, Megaplex was named as such and obfuscated because some of the staff worked at Disney and back then, well, they were skeptical Disney was ready to "try everything". So they wanted to distance its ties with the eccentric nature that furries were known for at the time; from what I've heard.

There was no list on this article of past Seattle-Oregon conventions, it was noted that the Rainfurrest thing was recent history. Conifur did disband a decade ago, leading to Rainfurrest's rise, with different hotel issue it seems (on the side of hotel industry's volatility in Washington during the economic recession it seems).

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Are you say how con seem to come and Go in the North West like All Fur Fun in Spokane.I atteded the second year.

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I also see a need for family friendly con as children are discovering the fandom at an early age, I know of parents of a 12-year-old dove their kid from Seattle to one of our Rose City furs Furs’ meets in Portland. Rose City furs was started out of the ashes PDX furs by a Furry, Mother and Artist who seen the need of a Safe ages meet. In addition, the rise of multi generational fur fans where the kids were born and raised in the fandom or parents are furry.
ANW would also appeal to me as a Christian fur and others who are not Chastain who not keen of NSFW element at many cons.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

With all due respect people need to accept the fact that the fandom is a very diverse group and there is a chance you will see things you don't like. And it's not like furries are running around the cons staring at porn. There are very specific rules about that kind of thing at every (normal) con. I go to cons to cut loose (within reason) and be myself. I shouldn't have to worry about some pearl clutching mother getting offended that I made a harmless off color joke or getting kicked out because of it. Fur cons are considered by many to be a a safe place where we can go and not be judged for acting different or weird.

I don't see this "family friendly" atmosphere lasting forever. Once the fandom's reputation in the region is in a better place the rules will most likely be relaxed. Until then it will be known as "that one con"

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

You're completely right, you might see things you don't like. Such as people hosting a PG or kid-friendly convention.

You're completely right, you shouldn't have to worry about making sex jokes in front of kids, because you shouldn't be making sex jokes in front of kids. Options for you: don't hang out with kids. Options for kids: go to PG conventions.

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Yes, that's great for people (like me) who have choice to go elsewhere. Sadly for a some, Anthro NW is their only option.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Too bad the hardworking people who work on such conventions forgot that they're beholden to the whims of people who want to make sex jokes and can only do so at their event.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

You are missing the point. This isn't about "sex jokes", it's about having a safe environment where we can be ourselves and (within reason) cut loose and have some fun. There are obviously limits but I think other cons have already set the standard as to what those limits need to be. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Obviously things are complicated for furry in the North West so certain liberties may need to be taken for the time being. But I certainly don't consider this move to be filling any kind of need and it is definitely not a benefit. At best, it's a (temporary) necessary evil.

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Right, it's about having that kind of environment, and a PG convention looks like a good fit for kids and people who don't want to be around sexual stuff.

I don't know what the big deal is against one. I haven't been to a furry convention but none of the other cons I've been to have had fetish stuff (with the exception of fetish conventions), and nobody seemed like they weren't having fun. This just seems like going to a comic book convention and complaining that it doesn't cater to the steampunk community.

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Get back to me when you've actually been to one. I've been to Comic Con and furry conventions, they're a bit different.

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Look, we can't have a PG rated convention or art site last more than a year or two for the cartoon animal fandom, and then furries wonder why we keep getting asked why it's all about sex.

I've been to both furry and non-furry conventions, and it's mind-boggling that I can find a PG anime convention without even trying, but furries like you actually get indignant when we ask you to lay off the porn five fucking minutes.

In actual practice, Anthrocon was PG if you wanted it to be (the porn was there, but it was discreetly off to the side in a separate folder in the dealer's dens), and the most risible thing I encountered was a game of Cards Against Humanity (which I happily joined), so this is all kind of academic. However, the fact remains that furries seem to be physically incapable of producing a PG convention, and it's pretty fair to ask why that is.

And it isn't just about "think of the children". I mean, to be perfectly frank, we are leaving money on the table as long as we insist everything we do must have adult artwork squirreled away somewhere. I mean, there are very good reasons we may not want, say, Disney, at our furry convention, but there are also some very good reasons we might. Even setting aside giant corporations, I mean, there are smaller and more local businesses that may have valid reasons to be at a furry convention. But, once again, it's all academic, because neither Disney nor the local comic book shop want to set up a booth next to Bad Dragon.

Not that I haven't been in some really skeevy local comic book shops, though. But I've also been in some very clean, family friendly local comic book shops. That's the point.

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You went to Cards Against Humanity without me, you dick!

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Naw, man, we were waiting for the charity poker tournament to start and somebody had a deck.

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It's IMO a good thing we don't have sponsors. I don't want fur cons to become commercialized the way Comic Con has. I'd rather it stay a community event. You pointed out Anthrocon could be considered PG if you wanted it to be. Yet it still has that "dirty stuff" you hate and still manages to have one of the best PR images in the fandom proving you don't have sanitize a con to have a good public image. You just have to not be a dumpster fire like Rainfurrest

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It's not about whether we want or don't want sponsors; my point is we can't have sponsors, period. I've heard all these arguments, and they're good arguments, but they're untested arguments because we won't test them.

And you go right to "you're a prude", automatically. I'm not calling you a dirty pervert; I am perhaps implying furry has an unexamined porn addiction problem, though. I mean, you are getting very defensive about this; "liking dirty stuff" and "refusing to even consider the possibility of a furry convention that doesn't have any" are two different things. When you add in my point that we can't seem to create a lasting clean art archive site, and ... well, it's not flattering.

And as far as having a safe place to have where you can be you that may not be "socially acceptable", well, it's 2017. You don't have to be at a furry convention to be a furry, whatever that means for you personally.

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"I am perhaps implying furry has an unexamined porn addiction problem"

Perhaps we're just not afraid of sex the way society wants us to be.

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Jesus Christ.

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Porn isn't sex. It's an unsatisfying substitute for sex. It's the NutraSweet of sex.

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Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll bid you a goodnight.

I have some furry porn to get to.

EDIT: READING, I MEANT READING.

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You can read furry porn to you know... I wrote a bunch of it.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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5 STARS FROM UNCLE CHESTER WINK WINK

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Shut up.

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I don't think he hates adult stuff.

I'm the same way, I prefer my furry art to be clean (t-shirts, pants, etc). Doesn't mean I won't get adult art or more mature art. It's a preference. We're not wild animals, even if and when our fursonas look like. Unless you're from a society that just f*cks 24/7 then you're going to wear clothes, you're going to eat, etc.

I like the type of art that shows day to day life as much as I like dongs and boobs.

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Them being different is beside the point dude, are you dense? Just don't go to the convention if it's not a place you'd have fun at, just like you wouldn't go to other conventions you're not interested in

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Some people want to be themselves away from the adult. There's nothing intrinsically wrong having conventions for both sort of people.

And I have been to furry conventions (with adult content) and will go to a comic con this weekend.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Furry is one type of convention and I believe we should strive for inclusiveness, not division.

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It seems you have a bad case of narcissism. The fandom is bigger than you are. You are right "With all due respect people need to accept the fact that the fandom is a very diverse group" You should recognize that the would be a diverse taste type of conventions some will be +18 plus to your liking and I will not attend and there are G to PG cons I like but you cannot stand. Still you do not get to call the shot because a convention decides they don't want a potty mouth. Beside that there plenty convention if ANW is not your liking. There is Vancouverfur up north and Furlandia down South. There non-fur options in Seattle, such as Sukuracon late night programming, Norwescon, Rustycon have adult programming. There no reason to rise of fuss about ANW. Just deal with it and go to a different con or start a 21+ con yourself.

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You're right the fandom is bigger than me, I'm probably the only one who might have this concern right? I'm mean, it's not like there are people who's livelihood actually depends on smut or anything. No, those people don't exist. TBH I've never purchased NSFW art at at any con I've been to, never had the inclination. You mistake narcissism for what I can only describe as extreme altruism. My worries are not for myself but the fandom as a whole.

There have been attempts in the past to clean up furry, they've always failed but the battle continues and whether this is the latest attempt or a "necessary evil" due to the unique problems the fandom has faced in the region is still up in the air. I want furry to be welcoming to all regardless of what crazy ideas or weird (and harmless) kinks one might have. That's what makes the fandom so special to me. While not perfect, we try our best to be an open and accepting community. I worry that rules like these threaten this ideal I believe we should always push for.

Is it paranoia on my part? Probably, but I will remain ever vigilant.

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Once again, there is a difference between what you're describing and what's happening; in this instance "one, count it, one convention saying, hey, let's try PG for once" is not the same as "cleaning up the entire fandom."

Of course, what you're describing as what you want is also not welcoming to all; multiple furry conventions have outright banned children under 18 (and I really need to back that up with a link, but Flayrah doesn't have the best search function and I've got to be somewhere soon).

This convention is not an existential threat to furry fandom.

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To be fair, this is not really the only furry convention that looked to be more family oriented. I recall when I attended Fur'the More 2016 that they were kind of looking to do similar. There was even a 'kid track' of some description.

The fact of the matter is that young ones are exposed to adult items more quickly these days, so parents do have to be more vigilant about being the first one to expose them to such things so that their kids are more knowledgeable.

We tend to laugh at the concept that furry should be expected to bridge that gap. But remember what Sonic said about touching in a way you don't like. Apparently, given what we've seen lately is that as those that watched that segment have grown up, more and more of them are saying "That's no good."

What we're seeing is a conflict between those more on the asexual end of the sexual drive spectrum versus that that are more "omnisexual". Both don't want to be sensored or feel excluded for who they are, but with one focusing entirely on sex and the other wanting to have nothing to do with it, there will inevitably be conflict/compromise in the spaces.

Furry has been dealing with this sense the beginning.

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Neither here nor there, but work is boring and I was ruminating this discussion all shift, but a discussion about how "welcoming" the furry fandom really is might be in order after a con is started by people new to the fandom and a common reaction amounts to, "So, what's your angle, then?" rather than, "Hey, welcome to the fandom."

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All my friends ate heathens, don't you know?

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Furry has treated outsiders with suspicion for almost 2 decades. This isn't a new phenomenon.

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So, let me get this straight:

I want furry to be welcoming to all regardless of what crazy ideas or weird (and harmless) kinks one might have.

But you have no problem with the fact that ...

Furry has treated outsiders with suspicion for almost 2 decades. This isn't a new phenomenon.

Seems to me two decades of distrust is a much bigger "welcoming" problem than one con trying out a PG rating.

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We've had good reasons in the past for distrusting outsides and as long as the strange and unusual is worthy of mockery that won't change. Generally cons are run by people in the fandom because they're invested in it already so forgive my suspicion. Add to the fact that this is a for profit con, which is very unusual. I don't believe we've ever gotten an explanation for that.

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I did't think "for profit" usually required an explanation; they're, uh, probably running it for the profit.

But, I'm not arguing that suspicion may or may not have been earned; I'm pointing out that you said you want to welcome everyone, and then turned around and said "We don't take kindly to strangers in these parts." Which is just not a very good look.

If you want to be open and welcome, be open and welcome. If you want to be suspicious and unwelcoming, fine, super. Whatever. I don't really care. Just don't tell me you want to be open and welcome while you're doing it, because that kind of hypocrisy does upset me.

You can't claim to "strive for inclusiveness and diversity" at furry conventions and then get upset when someone with different ideas about furry conventions runs a con without me calling you on it.

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You both make good points but you can be suspicious of newcomers and then subsequently be welcoming and friendly regardless of who they are once you know their intentions.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I don't know about the current situation, but I know that some of the past iterations of Camp Feral and Eurofurence were both adults-only. This was primarily for logistical reasons, like insurance/liability costs, the increased complexity of running the con, the presence of alcohol and such.

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There are people whose livelihood depends on smut, but considering AnthroNW didn't exist until this year, their livelihoods didn't depend on Anthro NW.

Nobody's trying to clean up the fandom, just like drawing a non-pornographic piece of furry art isn't trying to clean up the fandom.

Nobody is banning you from somewhere for having kinks. It's not like there's a survey on the registration form asking if you have ever been or ever will be horny. Nobody's gonna care if you like getting paddled, just leave the fucking paddle in your room.

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In one of Nuka's surveys I think he did a bit of inquiring around the dealer's room at a convention (Please correct me if I've got it wrong!). Just under 20% of the artists said they relied on adult material for the majority of their sales, and in other survey, around a third of the dealers' tables were from outside the fandom.

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Then where are those tables from? At Eurofurence it looked like every table was from the fandom except the charity's table and maybe this one place that sold plush toys.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Found the Burned Fur

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There was an insanely insane amount of rumor and conjecture-based bashing on Twitter about this con. I looked super deeply into it, spoke to the chair on the phone, and came away thinking it was 90% bullshit based simply on the con being run against the grain. 1) Top-down CEO style management philosophy in some cases. 2) Chair has a religion. 3) PG/family friendly rules and serious about it. 4) Aiming at a niche that way - when there are tons of less PG cons - which pissed off people who wanted it to cater to their fetishy ways, like someone stepping up to a buffet and raging at the sight of vegetables on it when they want red meat.

I got legal docs, tips, super confidential chats, and it's all so much to unravel and I don't have time for it, the best I can probably do is summarize the shitstorm and then interview the chair. Hope I can get around to that.

As for the TV being there - They had consent forms, apparently faces are blurred (unless people opted in) - but characters aren't unless they specifically opted out, if I got that right. So what about characters in the background? People don't even get an opt-out or faces blurred when others with cell phones post stuff to youtube. I've heard praise for the show from people I trust, so, let's see the results. If they're good, then good. Lisa Ling traded a few tweets with me when I saw her 250,000 follower account dragged into furry drama, of all things, because someone was lying about her show going for sexual stuff at the con. And if the TV show is good, then wow this con sure made a bang with public notice for itself. Perhaps other cons should spring surprises on people then, so they definitely won't fail by not attracting eyeballs.

Maybe those who definitely can't support this con can step up to the buffet and try some of this instead. http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Furvana

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I would have to disagree on increasing the surprises. If you're critiquing rumors then the way to stifle the rumor mill is to have less surprises.

If a place knows on October 1st they are inviting CNN and no one knows until the con opens its doors on November 10th, then people are going to ask "Why?" and they will be more then happy to fill the void left behind by the staff.

I think there would be far less rumors about the con going about if they made the announcement they did on the tweet on 11/11 on 10/11 instead. It would have been shown around and people might have been upset, but it would have led to less conspiracy generation.

If your goal is to HAVE rumors then that's a good way to get them, but you can't critique people spreading rumors if the action you seem to be for will generate them.

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Spreading a criticism is one thing, straight up bashing with your own inventions is another. You can't say "whoops, I did a false rumor, it's the con's fault because they maintain operational opacity." One can critique lying while also not humoring people's entitlement to transparency.

For one thing, NDA's exist. For another, this social media age accustoms people to instant access to yell in each other's ears, look at every private document, trade all the artists work without attibution etc. Just because they can doesn't mean they should. And resistance to that can be refreshing (look at the Furry Raiders and altfurs antisocial entitlement to ruin any standards at all.)

Saying "nope, our house our rules" is a way to generate a lot of childish drama (an issue itself) apart from more valid questions about where the line is between public and private. There is also definitely a serious issue of stuff like outing people to employers (again, compare youtube postings where you dont get face blurrring), or whether an event is a community flagship (this one's a startup, not Anthrocon) or consumer rights (they delivered a con) and so forth, but harsh knee jerk reaction apart from principle can make the con come off looking justified in saying "no" about it.

That's one way the con went against the grain, and next year's attendance may bear out how attendees felt. Based on receptions afterward, it doesnt look like the con will shrink from a healthy first year of 800 goers.

Not to say that such surprises are good or a practice to expect, either, I'm just saying: look at your headline. What history... did Furlandia shut down? Or did it help them get established? It could be hard to say in context of size and location, and growth isn't the point of cons, but getting notice that helps sustain them may be a thing. I don't know, I'm being agnostic for the moment and waiting to see how the TV show comes out.

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Many of the rumors had a similar vein to Furlandia's, like for instance "They just made the con to get people for CNN who is paying them." was basically a rumor that was nearly identical to an argument that was made on the relationship between MTV and Furlandia.

I did note, I do believe, that the blunder on Furlandia's part was not a death throw, but it did cause quite a few headaches similar to this situation. In the Furlandia article I did note that it was possible, and my hope the convention would continue onward and it has. As noted in the article, as well, Anthro NW was also the resulting controversy handled better by the staff of this con then the prior one.

However most of the headache could be avoided by being transparent about mainstream press presence at the con. It's not too much to ask. The attendees are the consumer and it is clear that the consumer dislikes having mainstream press spring up as a thing as a first year convention without announcement.

When you say "look at your history" we have no examples of a first year con bringing in mainstream press and making a public announcement about it BEFORE the convention starts. So don't nark being translucent here until you try it. My guess is that it'll seem less like the convention is hiding things from their attendees.

You can have a pie in the sky dream that people will stop being paranoid about things springing up around them like that, but it's better to not fantasize about a fictional desired universe and instead work with reality. People are paranoid, particularly about the media, and particularly furries about the media.

I know it's ultimately your goal to eliminate that paranoia in this fandom around the media as is clearly evident by your articles. But it would make the process a lot smoother if conventions stopped feeling like they needed to hide the work they're doing with the mainstream press? To invite the attendees into the symbiotic relationship instead of making them feel they are a third wheel who's just being exploited?

This "opacity" hurt your goals here too.

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It may be a leap to conclusions to call it a headache for the cons at all. Did you ask the chairs about it? Well in the case of Furlandia's first year you might be talking to a troll, but I highly doubt AnthroNW is comparable, in fact they might be polar opposites.

Also, you mention complaints as coming from consumers but there's good reason to believe that the majority of the harsh online stuff came from people who didn't attend. Sure you can dig for some saying something but it still remains to be seen how the show is and how the con's ongoing operation will bear out their feeling about it.

People are paranoid, and it's steadily eroding with more and more good news despite themselves. Being paranoid is now a backwards looking stance that just involves due diligence about who is involved. Did the con do that this time, we'll see. But meanwhile, it's not media access that I write about (who cares, their goal isn't my goal) so much as furries shooting themselves in the footpaw about suppressing their own stories and really important issues that come with them.

So, a con may be opaque as a small entity, but it's different when a whole community refuses to allow looking at the human story of a web of relationships that ended in three murders. It's crazy how much resistance there was to even admitting that is a furry story, to the detriment of everyone who may be involved next time it happens.

Back on topic, there's that whole thing about "objectivity" everyone is so keen on (not to mention NDA's). The media is not the fandom, symbiotic may be the opposite of the best way to relate. Symbiotic and non-objective could be valid criticism of the IARP and anthrocon (not that advocacy bias is bad.)

A third option is Be The Media, and make them come to us. :)

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I am being the media, which is supposed to provide critique of blunders those in power made, you know so they don't do it again.

Even if that story reaches only the fandom, that's fine.

It's not my goal to merge with the mainstream press.

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It's not that much a blunder if nobody got hurt, despite non-goers armchair QBing the con before goers could even digest the experience :p Talking directly to those in power (or are they serving) is a good thing too. Or direct to Lisa Ling, she was vocal. Let me see if I can get time to try an interview.

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Lisa had every right to be vocal, but she also had the right to expect the convention would do its part to announce her presence before people started showing up to the con and not knowing who she was, or what was going on, etc.

It may seem like QBing, but that's critique. Similar to what you're doing with this article. Which yes, I think the one thing I do not mention is the attendance rates or other positive statements, but I also left out a lot of the side negatives too (like the swearing dealer issue). Sure the article could have had at least something more positive in it sure, and I think it may have focused one issue. But it is an issue that not once, but twice, has been highlighted by attendees is important. And that is transparency in convention/media arrangements. Other than that issue the con probably ran fine, which is fine.

But this decision, like with Furlandia, cast the shadow. But I suppose that's my fault for covering what people were talking about.

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LOL, I've been careful to separate valid criticism and the "insanely insane amount of rumor and conjecture-based bashing on Twitter". If people who aren't even going to the con demand transparent operation and then send harshly reactive paranoia when they don't get it, something's not right. With the con, or the people?

I'm not sure that Lisa has a right to expect the convention would announce her presence, especially when NDA's are a thing and objectivity seems to be desired.

Transparency is not a be-all end-all goal. There's investigating but there's also plain lack of boundaries. Saying that isn't QBing about your article, like if the chair hasn't been asked about it, I'm not expecting yours to, I can do it. That's how Being The Media is better with multiple sites. :)

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I don't have a problem with Lisa Ling showing up to do a piece on the fandom. Whether she does a good piece or not is a risk that the Con decided to take. The individuals who attended will be protected to some degree by CNN's requirements (i.e. the face blurring). If the CNN piece ends up being bad, this con will be severely damaged and possibly ruined. If they wanted that risk then its on them. However, if her piece is very positive and uplifting, then it could have a very positive impact on our entire community. The fact that she ended up being at a con that was focused on "family friendly" is also probably a good thing. I absolutely LOVE going to the cons, but some people do get out of control at the NSFW friendly cons and even though they represent such a tiny portion of our community, they tend to get blown up out of proportion when captured on camera.

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Well I was one of the attendees to this convention and all I can say is if you didnt attend you missed out on an amazing con. It was a very family friendly fun SFW style convention and refreshing too. Its not like you couldnt have fun and be silly but the furry community in Seattle were under very close watch after RF disaster.. AnthroNW had to be called an Anthropomorphic convention as hotels in Seattle were still nervous about the community and we had to show them that we can behave. In order to keep peace as such the security firm FLARE was brought up from California and I must say they were very discreet but if any issues came (and none did) they were there 24 hours a day with medical and security staff. The hotel appreciated the extra attention..

The dream of AnthroNW was to show the world what beauty the fandom can offer. The idea was to host a different style con, one that most furs tell their parents they went too.. lol. This con was one you could be proud to have gone too or taken friends, family or even kids too. They had policy in place that ensured respectable attendees, you could have a party but had to limit it in your room. No drunkenness or bad drug use was tolerated but again this issue never came up.. I was pleasantly surprised how well everyone behaved and such.. talking with families with kids who attended LOVED it. They said they will be back and bring others. The con was designed for everyone, lots of activities and panels were off the charts. Fun things like Dance battles were pawesome. Nightly dances were packed with VERY good DJs like Rica and others. So many famous furs attended as well. It was like the whos who in the community and felt kinda humbling to be amongst their presence.

CNN was a bit of a surprise but Lisa Ling is a VERY respectable reporter and showed the organizers what their intentions were.. Mostly they came to interview two amazing furs, all their volunteer work and ask about the community. Footage may never hit the TV but if it does will be nothing but positives for our group. Contract forms were posted at Con Ops where you had the option to be removed from final footage if wanted. Plus Lisa respected the con and only filmed in controlled areas. I never followed all the feeds during the con on Twitter and elsewhere but really gang.. I know the community has been burned before and respect that but can only say fur myself that I think the negative comments were WAY over blown.. As for being censored and comments deleted, well what would you do if you ran something and people who never ever attended started to bash your dream.. Of course hateful comments will be deleted. I am glad that allot more came forward to calm the haters. This con was special and will be held as such, something others should strive for.

Con space being crowded, not really.. We had 814 first year attendees.. WOW. that will go down in Wiki fur as the biggest first year attendance EVER in our community.. Well done gang.. The hotel had other conventions going on during the weekend and next year we will be getting allot more space. Hotel can hold double that number easy and con has a long term dream if numbers keep moving upward new location may be in the works.. The con had venues spread out which was unique like Game works Thursday night.. That place is a HUGE arcade that first time allowed fursuiters in during our block time. Was fun and looked amazing to see.. They loved the furries and welcomed us back next year. All I can see for this con is positive things and growth. Dont take my word for it but do some snooping online and talk with others who actually went.. Gabriels dream of AnthroNW is alive and well and fur me I did take a little piece of it home in me and hopefully spread the joy of the fandom to others better. It was an honor really to been part of this con, and I dont say that lightly..

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Thanks for sharing your perspective on the situation.

As far as the attendance numbers, I would have to double check, but it may indeed be the largest first con which is indeed news worthy. It is a regret that I didn't wait on the number (though I did, it just was never put up on its social media page by the time I had pushed to publish, but that was my decision).

I do think I will update the main story to reflect that once I double check the numbers to ensure it is the largest first year con, but it does sound about right.

I think that at the end of the day, Seattle did need a furry convention revival (even in the religious sense).

Glad you enjoyed yourself.

Also, congrats on your first comment after being a user for 2 years :)

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Lisa Ling is a VERY respectable reporter

http://www.cnn.com/videos/health/2017/09/07/this-is-sex-with-lisa-ling.cnn says otherwise, at least in my eyes.

well what would you do if you ran something and people who never ever attended started to bash your dream..

if the concerns were legit (and it sounds like they were), listen to them and see what I could do to fix them.

then there's the fact that it is ran by the same people who run http://www.doxacon.org/ and I'm a bit iffy on this whole thing.

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I don't see how "inventing a story that someone put a diaper in the ball pit" is a legitimate concern.

I also don't see anything wrong with Doxacon.

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Bravo Munchkin!! As one who attended ANW, I was pleasantly pleased with the amount of professionalism that went into the planning of this event. I went and and offered some assistance to the convention, as did some 60 some odd other folks, who all were working in unison all for a common goal -- the success of ANW as a family friendly Anthropomorphic event.

Were there some areas for improvement? Absolutely. No first year con is going to be without some challenges out of the gate. In light of the few things that I saw that could be improved upon, what I saw is people having fun, programming that was diverse and chock full of panels which touched on a wide variety of subjects and interests.

I have been a part of this Community for over 10 years, and ANW, really renewed my faith in this Community in many aspects, and showed me the underlying core of this Community -- Art, Education and Community.

It was an honour to attend this event, and I saw so many well known names that also showed their support for this event, which further strengthened my faith in this event. 809 attendees for a first year con, that is a record for a first year event. This event broke the proverbial mold of the traditional "furry" convention, and brought things back to the true roots of the Anthropomorphic Community, and parents and families attended, and told me themselves, that they had no issues bringing their children to this event.

The Convention's founder, had a vision, and also had the support from the "Big 3" - AC, MFF and BLFC. It took guts to do what he did, he did it, and because of his efforts and the efforts of all the volunteers, staff and attendees, Seattle's once tarnished reputation for "furry" conventions, has now been put into a positive light, and whats more, the hotel, The Renaissance - Seattle, wants ANW back for 2018!!

In closing, I, like many others, had some initial concerns with ANW. Rather than take the pessimistic view, and dwell on the media issue, I attended and gave this event a chance. Looking back, this was one of the best weekends I have had in quite sometime. The mission of ANW, is definitely something I could support, and will continue to do in 2018, and beyond.

Cheers,

-Rukario

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Its clear the person writing this wasnt at either convention. I announced the MTV thing a month before the event :3

The reason that Furlandia is so slow in growth, is because the RAIn board took it over after year one.

Hope that clears THAT up ;)

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

The statement you announced MTV a month in advance is false for two reasons:

1) The article about Furlandia goes into great detail as to when it was announced, even pointing to a tweet a fur (I believe EvilSibe) made saying they heard that MTV was going to be there and it was replied to that that was not the case. I reread the article referenced because it was two years ago and I wanted to ensure I had remember things proper.

2) You commented a bunch on that particular article and never claimed that you had announced it a month prior in any comment responding to the article in question. If it was false then I would have thought you would have claimed that it was back then, yes? So coming here and saying it is false two years later makes no sense when you didn't say it back then.

In fact, let us look at the first comment you made to that article which directly contradicts your statement here!

Hello, I am Saph. (Not Seph, or Seth)

As far as letting the public know that a camera crew was going to be following me around, it wasn't finalized until a few days prior to the event. A minor misconception, is that since I was not chair of this event, only handling logistics along with my associate Triss, we had limited administrative access to the event media itself such as the website and social media broadcasts like Twitter.

So which was it, you knew and announced it a month in advance, or you didn't know until a few days prior and thus wouldn't have been able to have announced it a month in advance?

Hope that clears that up.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Boy I wish I could remember the login for that account :3

I had announced that there was involvement upwards of 30 days prior to the event, however as stated in my post, since I wasnt chair, I wasnt allowed to make an announcement through the convention channels.

I hope that clears that up, and I encourage you to attend a convention if you're going to spend your time writing reviews about them ;)

That being said, both events have their major flaws, the one with furlandia mentioned clearly in my first post on this thread. I do appreciate you stirring the pot, it has made the internet very entertaining over the past few days :3

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Yes, so it wasn't your fault that it wasn't announced to the general public until the day of/at the convention.

Unfortunately organization communication is a tricky thing, I know this working for a large company that has these issues in spades.

It happens, the article was more to highlight that allowing mainstream media into a convention is a big deal. Not every furry is looking for their 5 minutes of fame, and some would die happy just enjoying their fandom in peace. Those types are going to squeal as soon as they see that form, so it's best for the organization to cut it off at the head by getting ahead of the rumor mill.

It won't prevent all the whining, but it cause it to happen prior to the convention and may help minimize rumor mongering.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I can concede to that.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Another shit article written by someone who wasnt there. Keep it up!

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

The tweet about the on camera that highlighted the issue that caused the root of mistrust was made by someone who was there. AKA, yes, I am not the PRIMARY source, but I link to the primary on the ground source in the article. An attendee.

You are certainly a furry for zoomorphing humanity to the point that we cannot communicate with those that were there by wire.

If you are only going to be taking the word of someone who was there you must immediately stop consuming any news from anyone, because you weren't there, so you can't trust what you read.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

ANW was underwhelming as a convention to me. There was mostly a certain type of fur in my opinion who got easily swept up in the hype I feel. With all the positivity I feel like people were at an entirely different convention than I was. I suppose if you were looking for panels as your main activity it was probably alright.

Largely it was mediocre, and the hotel space was abysmal. It was too segregated between the basement and another floor or two, and small. There was just a central "courtyard" room around the escalator on each floor, which wasn't very large and just easily too crowded. The hotel was very quick to shut down any and all room gatherings and parties as well. Parking was inconvenient and sometimes expensive, but that's just a fact of downtown Seattle.

The con banned multiple people ahead of time, and during, both having been there or not having even attended. Censorship was incredibly heavy at the event and even more so on Telegram, with probably dozens of people being banned from the telegram chat it seemed like, for any criticism there or other chats or from Twitter. Pictures, video, or gifs of the event were immediately deleted from the official telegram chat, regardless of context. Even video meant to help the event by showing questionable behavior taking place was deleted without comment. I know of people personally who were forced to remove articles of clothing who the con runners found questionable on whether they were PG enough. And I mean things like jackets with patches on them, or certain outfits had to be changed that had any fishnet as part of them, or hats.

Why is no one talking about the fact that ANW has been claiming to be a non-profit, but they are not? Registration in Washington shows it as an active single-owner FOR PROFIT business. What were the charity donations at con used for? Has that been communicated yet? Why was no one really questioning this?

Another issue here is not so much a problem with the con, but with the FLARE organization. They caused a lot of issues in their zeal to make this a "safe" con. They harassed a lot of folks, made baseless accusations and threats, and in general were very fascist in their attitude towards certain individuals. It felt like THEY were truly the ones in control and in charge, and were trying to railroad the con leadership. There were times certain issues were brought to his attention, and he stepped up and put his foot down, but I really hope in the future he makes it CLEAR to FLARE what their parameters are and who is in charge.

One last aside; you guys have it wrong that Furlandia didn't tell anyone about the MTV issue until opening ceremonies. Opening ceremonies happened on that Saturday, but there were activities and a dance the day before on Friday, and notices were posted -everywhere- disclosing their presence and intention, and people did have to register for the con at that point and were given a rundown of what was happening. I cannot recall if tweets were made that day or not as well. I know that their presence was made known to some extent prior to the convention as well.

I personally knew about ANW and CNN at least 2 weeks before the con from sources, and was shocked that no one was looking at the history lesson. Even more shocking is that there are high level ANW staff who practically went on a crusade after the Furlandia issue at that time, so I found it mildly hypocritical. It also sounded like ANW may not have informed some of their more honored guests ahead of time, so I wonder what their thoughts are.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Why is no one talking about the fact that ANW has been claiming to be a non-profit, but they are not? Registration in Washington shows it as an active single-owner FOR PROFIT business. What were the charity donations at con used for? Has that been communicated yet? Why was no one really questioning this?

For-profit is simply a business structure, not a sign of anyone getting rich. There's nothing unusual about running that structure as not-for-profit, because nonprofit status can have the same result except with extra cumbersome paperwork. It might even make extra risks (like attracting attention into what the purpose of the con even is - is it a social gathering not a charity, and if so, can people get in trouble for writing off donations?) It's far fetched that there's anything out of the ordinary. I looked at the company registrations and didn't sense ulterior motives. If there were any, this would be a ridiculous way to go about tricking anyone, and the wrong group to try it with.

As far as I remember, the con itself is a nonprofit, and there is an earlier-established for-profit. Which means that AnthroNW may be just one of a number of possible events under a parent structure. It may be a useful approach for tax or risk purposes or to attract or spend funding, or who knows why, but... like I was saying about transparency up there, you're running into the difference between an open unmoderated community and a private event that caters to it, depending on the work and risk of the owners. In other words, it's their house but you're invited to hang out there, so if they're being cool, enjoy it and don't ride their ass about it.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

First I was there let's clear the air.

1.anthro northwest did not discriminate this rumor was total garbage.

2. Anthro northwest kept media in check the media politely followed policy set by anthro northwest and was polite kind and gentle.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

AnthroNW sent out a news letter to its staff, staying that they lost 60k this year on the event, due to flying out people like Kage and Telephone, and providing hotel rooms for a majority of their staff.

I hope it was worth it for their 5 minutes of fame for being the largest first year con.

And yes, thats a LOSS of 60,000$

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Sheesh, and furries complain about artists being overpriced!

They're going to have to hedge their bets on the CNN item being so positive that they can double their convention size and cut down on expenditure for next year.

And hopefully their other con they run is profitable to hedge their losses as well.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

$60,000 / 800 = $75 per person. Not actually a lot for a large whole weekend event. For perspective, AC's entire budget is somewhere roughly around a half million last I checked. That's like, a corner store that employs a few people, based on tons of community volunteering.

From what I've seen of the con chair's background, operating things not-for-profit or at a loss, subsidized by other things, would make a loss not necessarily unexpected or bad. Operating cons generally isn't a way to be profitable in the first place.

Enjoy being hosted if you go guys. It's like someone has a vacation home they opened to you at no cost to be generous. I think Elliott's is run the same way by someone with mountains of tech money. Furries have it gooood. Giving drama about it is just, wow... be really careful about if it's needed.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

$60,000 in the hole is not the same as $60,000 in expenditures. From what it sounds with the word LOSS capitalized that means after you take into account registration revenue and other such factors.

I'm not sure what registration cost, but if it was $40 at 809 attendees that is #32,360.00 in gains, so a loss of 60,000 would mean they expended 92,360.00. Which is approximately 1/5 of Anthocon's operating budget if your half million statement is accurate. This isn't even factoring in dealer's den rent, "super sponsers", and other factors so it can be safe to say actually well over 1/5 of Anthrocon's operating in that case.

Yes, a lot of money gets thrown at these things, and hopefully they have the capital to overwrite the loss, but they can't sustain that on a yearly basis forever unless they are making 100,000 a year in a place that has affordable housing, which in Seattle is unlikely.

Going big the first year could be a good move, but it's risky. If it pays dividends for next year then it'll have been a good move. If it doesn't then they may not be able to sustain it.

However I will say this, fiscal information isn't something I think is good to be transparent about in most cases. Ironically since my article was about being transparent. Only finance dorks and people interest in running cons should be interested in financial operating costs, to attendees that number should be kept under the hat.

The oatmeal doesn't need to be spilled, per say.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

That is true. May be apples and oranges if paying for staff hotel rooms, flying people out, etc is a different level of service than Anthrocon. I'm not aware of it being detailed but what I know of the guy's other business, is he seems to do that kind of thing, and paying out $60k on a small con isn't a big deal as a hobby thing if say, you're Elliott's and have a mountain of tech money. Gabriel was VP of a computer company at age 23, maybe not a big deal as those go, but there's a media report of him running another business at a loss just to do nice things. Is it a "vanity con"? No idea, but if so, enjoy it everyone. It could also easily just be paying out once to make a big splash and get things firmly established.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

This is out 60,000$ after everything is said and done. While the source of the money isnt for public record, the man isnt loaded, nor is he pulling over a 6 figure salary. The whole thing was a financial disaster. It was 50$ registration for the weekend. The 809 is TOTAL guests both day passes, weekend passes, AND COMPS. Over a quarter of the attendees were "guests" and didnt pay a registration fee.

Vanity Con? Maybe. I hope it was worth 60k

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I trust you he isn't loaded so forget anything I said like that. So 809 attendance includes comps and day passes, is that inflated over what other cons count? I'm assuming not. If $50 passes brought in well under $40k, and $60k was lost, yet it was a first year con attendance record... wow, it makes me super curious. I won't ask where it went, but would love to find out any thinking behind budgeting the whole thing and what was the projected break even point. This isn't just to be nosy, I'm helping a fur promote an event at a unique venue that has never done one before.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

If they lost $60,000 with that attendance, they really need to get somebody as treasurer who understands budgetting and has the power to say 'no'. They are on the same model as some sci-fi cons I've seen fail, paying for guests they can't really afford hoping that that will bring in enough extra people to make up for that expense. It's not going to in the furry community. I don't know of a single furry convention where somebody specifically decided to go because of who the GOH's were. I get why a couple of individuals like Kage were brought in, but they can't sustain that. They hopefully got his seal of approval and can move forward next year with a sane budget that will allow recouping of some of the shortfall this year and provide seed money for the next. Comped memberships for staff are fine though they'd have been better off having them pay and then offering a rollover for next year. Comped hotel rooms are completely out of line for a new convention. Hopefully it wasn't because of overestimating their room block and having to pay for the rooms regardless (this is what ultimately killed ConFurence). I hope they get this issue fixed before it kills the convention

The non-profit status of the convention/parent corporation needs to be made clarified for both state AND federal. It's a simple answer, they either are or aren't non-profit. If they aren't, they'd better be prepared to be transparent with their books anyway. Nobody gets rich running a fan convention, but people need to see where the money is going to believe that.

Aside from that, they managed to have what sounds like a fun convention with lots of panels and other activities. I am certainly no prude, but it wouldn't have bothered me not to have adult stuff. I don't bother with most of that even at cons where it is allowed. If their hotel actually wants them back again given atmosphere in that area after RainFurest poisoned the pond, I say good on them. I hope they can continue and further the rebuilding of trust with the hotel industry in that area.

Your rating: None

About confurence: not only overestimating, also transferring ownership to a Burned Fur causing avoidance at the same time as the newer FC may have been siphoning attendance too. So I'm told. It's very interesting to look at how cons can be mutually reinforcing or undermining to each other. Especially when Seattle had up to 4 proposed cons at one time last year. It's a community unity challenge. Why does Seattle have a lot going on but a hard time sustaining it?

Also, said I wasn't going to ask where that 60k went, but... I also heard that staff was minimal (someone estimated 25. If true.) 60k could comp 100 rooms, and airfare doesn't fill the gap, what does? Call scooby doo.

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About the author

Sonious (Tantroo McNally)read storiescontact (login required)

a Kangaroo from Syracroose, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, philosophy and writing