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conventions

From one-off meets in far-off lands to annual gatherings attracting thousands, Flayrah covers them all. Popular events: AnthroconCalifurCamp FeralConFurenceConFuzzledConifurC-ACEEurofurenceFurry Weekend AtlantaFurther ConfusionMephit Fur MeetMidwest FurFestMorphiconRBWRCFMWPAFW

Con Report: Eurofurence 24: Aviators – Conquer the Sky

Your rating: None Average: 3 (41 votes)

Eurofurence 24 ran from 22 August to 26 August this year. It was the biggest one so far and a great opportunity to meet friends from all over and enjoy oneself. There were several panels, discussions and events which are worth noting. However, conventions are very personal experiences, so while I will focus on some larger themes, your own con experiences may vary. I have previously reported on Eurofurence 21 and Eurofurence 23.

EFBanner_small.jpeg

DenFur shatters first year con record at over 2,000 attendees

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (7 votes)

The fandom continues to show strong growth on the last weekend of August 2018. A weekend in which 5 furry conventions took place: Fur Affinity: United, Eurofurence, Camp Feral!, Indyfurcon, and DenFur. Of them the inaugural gathering in the state of Colorado has turned heads as it had shattered the first year attendance record of a furry convention at 2,086.

The first year attendance record was previously held by FurryPinas, a convention in the Philippines at 1,542 attendees, which acquired it just this last May making this year a strong startup for furry gatherings in general. Other conventions also had solid growth in attendance rates. Fur Affinity: United showing its first growth since their move out of the state of New Jersey. The number breakdowns for last weekend's cons can be seen below:

Convention

2017 Attendance

2018 Attendance

% Increase

Charity

Camp Feral!

220

[Unknown]

[Unknown]

[Unknown]

DenFur

N/A

2,086

N/A

$15,000

Eurofurence

2,804

2,908

3.7%

$47,945.07

FurAffinity:United

515

528

2.5%

$2,869

IndyFurCon

1,214

1,412

16.3%

$17,616.79

TOTAL

4,753

6,934 + [Feral]

45.88%+

$83,430.86

Update 6/29: Story indicated previous record holder was Biggest Little Fur Con, was corrected to be FurryPinas. -Cirrus credited for correction.

Harbouring Classism: Australian convention chair highlights elitism in furry fandom

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (6 votes)

Late last year, Nightf0x, an individual who I have done furry panels about journalism and non-fiction writing, had his first furry piece published by DogPatchPress. Prior to his publication he had spoken with me about doing a review and offering advice on it. In this piece he discussed his feelings of a furry’s class and how that weighed more at a larger convention like Anthrocon where he didn’t feel such a thing at his more local gathering of Anthro Weekend Utah which has an attendance around 10% the size of the Pittsburgh gathering.

My main critique with this piece was that I had noted while he was speaking from his experience between the environments of smaller conventions against larger ones, it did not highlight, nor go into depth, why he felt that the larger one had more classism in it. There weren’t any major examples on classist behavior observed which would have sold the concept better, but instead all the article did in the end is note that it existed.

Little could have anyone suspected that in the last weekend of July, a convention from Syndey, Australia would provide us with a new neologism that would elicit more groans and eyerolls than even the infamous words of “yiff” or “popufur”. This word would become known as the highlighting of elitism, particularly that of fiscal abundance. More ironic is that the convention that coined this phrase was even smaller than the Utah convention at an attendance cap of 300.

This word is “fursuite”. A word put forth to the press by the chair of Harbour City Fur Con. It was defined as meaning “a fursuit that is cheaply made”; giving the example of a costume that is being worth less than $5,000. What followed in its wake was a stark look at classist behaviors at the small Syndey gathering, and the fandom at large.

Midwest FurFest's Dealers Den policy prohibits fan art, causes fan concerns

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (6 votes)

Last Sunday, Canadian furry artist Nayel-ie brought to Twitter concerns about Midwest FurFest's rules for dealers, which state:

Midwest Furry Fandom Inc. prohibits the sale or offer for sale at Midwest FurFest of items that reproduce third parties’ intellectual property without the express written permission from the owner.
[...]
Prohibited are included but not limited to:

Unlicensed depictions of characters appearing in third parties' movies, TV shows, books, sound recordings, still images, sculptures or any other media. No fan art; no counterfeit goods.

Daily Fail: Daily Mail's thirsty sensationalist headline gets basic furry fact wrong

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (6 votes)

Harbour City Furcon, based out of Sydney, Australia is a healthy yet small furry gathering of 300 people. However, despite the smaller size, over the weekend of its operation it created quite a media stir. One article by the Daily Mail’s Holly Hales shows a quite embarrassing blunder in its haste to attract an audience utilizing a hyper-sexualized headline. In the midst of orgy allegations, they destroyed any credibility of expertise on the matter being discussed by stating that the Sydney furry convention was the largest gathering of the fandom down under.

Innocent cosplayers who love dressing up as animals or deviant sex cult? 'Furries' in colourful costumes defend their pastime while gathering at Harbour City Fur Con

  • Furry fanatics have descended on Sydney as part of the fan culture's largest annual gathering down under
  • The Harbour City Fur Con convention sees people splash thousands on cartoon-inspired animal suits
  • However, the fandom has often drawn criticism for its sexual component which includes allegations of orgies

[Warning, link goes to source for documentation/evidence purposes, do not click if you do not wish to support this behavior via viewership.]

Furry conventions get bigger in Texas - outgrowing California

Your rating: None Average: 4 (12 votes)

Texas Fiesta_0.jpgDeep in the fuzzy heart of Texas in February 2018, Furry Fiesta had convened at a brand new facility in Dallas to compensate for their continued growth in attendance. When the festivities came to a close, it was announced that 3,866 were in attendance. This number ups its ranking in the list of most populous furry conventions, it now being the fifth largest.

It replaces Further Confusion, one of the original large furry conventions from the early years of furry. The convention from San Jose, California has always had a strong following. It’s pilot year in 1999 saw it as the third largest furry convention behind the first major gathering of Confurence, another Californian convention, and the soon to be leader of the pack Anthrocon, which was in the Philadelphia area at that time.

Further Confusion is currently in a creepingly slow decline since peaking in 2014 at 3560. As of 2018 they are now at 3415, which is still higher than they were the year before they reached their peak. This stagnation in growth can be more likely contributed to factors of seasonal competition from other growing conventions rather than the Californian convention’s own actions. Furry Fiesta, being among them, which occurs only a month after it. But also Biggest Little Fur Con (Reno, Nevada) which is geographically within 4 hours San Jose, both contribute to some stiff competition for the long running event.

Furry Conned: Credit cards used at Midwest Furfest ATMs get fraud calls

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (28 votes)

Multiple reports have been made by furries on social media that cards utilized at ATMs in the Hyatt Regency O'Hare hotel, the main hotel of Midwest Furfest, have had attempts at fraudulent charges in the Chicago area. If you had utilized a card to withdraw money from these machines it is advised to keep an eye for any unusual activities.

Midwest FurFest usurps Anthrocon's record and becomes the world's largest furry convention

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (37 votes)


The cockroach upon the Pittsburgh-themed horse sees the Chicago Raccoon off as it takes the lead, while special friends look on. (Art by SelkieGal)

A closing ceremony for the fandom's history books took place on December 3rd, 2017. In the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, uproarious cheers and howls could be heard. With the utterance of a simple number, the convention's attendance was revealed to the expectant furries and made waves. Around 8,700 people had attended the gathering in Chicago this year, and in that moment it became the largest furry convention in the world, surpassing Pittsburgh's furry convention, Anthrocon, whose attendance was 7,544 this year.

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

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (22 votes)

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.

Conduct and harassment policies: what they are and how to enforce them

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (8 votes)

A clip from RainFurrest 2015's Code of ConductThere's a common line of recent social failure states in furry fandom, and in fandom in general. Not having a conduct policy, having a poorly-phrased or contradictory conduct policy, having an unenforceable conduct policy, or failing to evenly or consistently enforce the policy.

Good, enforceable, clearly understandable, and well-published conduct and harassment policies should be everywhere in furry fandom. But what is the best practice that the furry fandom needs to adopt in the face of not only common every-day jerks, but organised groups such as the Furry Raiders and Alt-Furries?

Harvey crashes furry convention Mephit Fur Meet

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Remnants of the hurricane that created historic flooding and devastation to Houston, Texas and the surrounding suburbs continue to move northeast. For one furry convention convening this weekend in Olive Branch, Mississippi, the timing of its arrival is causing travel headaches for those who hoped to arrive on Thursday evening.

The convention announced via Twitter that nearby Memphis Airport in Tennessee had closed due to the storm:

Major flooding is also occurring, which will cause headaches for those on the ground as well. Fortunately, the forecasts indicate that this storm will clear out by early Friday morning so it will hopefully not put a damper on the entire weekend's activities.

Convention goers are advised to follow the convention's Twitter feed for further updates.

Furrydelphia: Philly's fourth bite at the furry apple

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (6 votes)

Philly Metro's "Inside Philly's first furries convention" offers a compelling summary of our fandom's latest (and quite successful) convention. But its title betrays a lack of research. While Drayne and his team are to be congratulated for bringing a new furry convention to the City of Brotherly Love, it is by no means the Demolition of the Adams Mark Hotel. 
© Douglas Muth (Giza); used under CC-BY-SA 4.0 first… nor even the largest furry con held there.

The first honour belongs to Furtasticon, chaired in November 1994 by Trish Ny – which was also furry fandom's second convention, spun up in the space of a few months, allegedly after perceived anti-furry sentiment at Philcon. [Drayne was being born at the time, but was aware of prior events.]

Then there's Furstivus, which drew 238 – organized by SkippyFox and friends on short notice to replace 2012's New Year's Furry Ball. One must also consider the giant next door, Anthrocon.

Review: 'Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989 - 2015' by Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)

Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989 - 2015 Since their origin in panels and meets at science fiction conventions of the 1980s, furry cons have grown in membership and popularity. Today, they are found on every continent except Antarctica (now there's a challenge). Anthrocon, the world's largest furry convention, welcomed 6,389 attendees in 2015.

Fred Patten's book is the most complete published work (OK, OK: it's the only published work) to cover the history and status of furry fandom get-togethers across the world.

McFarland, January 2017, 260 pages. Available on Amazon and Google Play.

A convention is differentiated from a more casual furmeet by elements including a committee, paid memberships, and a structured event schedule. Most cons last more than one day and take place in a hotel, convention centre, or sometimes camp site or youth hostel.

Furry Event China: A review of my first Chinese furry con experience

Your rating: None Average: 4 (7 votes)

Furry Event China (referred to henceforth as FEC) is a number of firsts for me with regards to attending a furry convention:

  1. The convention itself was held inside of an event space of a public mall rather than the usual convention center
  2. It was my first furry convention experience not of a Western demographic
  3. It was the first convention I attended outside of North America.
  4. Actually, it was my first furry convention at an event that wasn't called VancouFur

Given this, and an assortment of other differences we will be going over, it was definitely an experience that I will never forget.

Furry Event China banner

Which of the six furry conventions on May 26-28 will you be attending?