As governments restrict gatherings of people, furry conventions are being postponed or canceled. Here's a quick run down of events in 2020 and their status as of July 5 10:15 EDT (UTC-4) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - updates to come.
A new section has been added for past events impacted for historical purposes.
Links go to statements if available, or to their Twitter feed or site.
Rick May, best known to furries and non-furries alike as the voice of Peppy Hare in the English version of the game Star Fox 64 passed away April 13, 2020 due to COVID-19. May was born September 21, 1940 (with the full name of Richard J. May), meaning he would have turned 80 later this year. May had also recently suffered a stroke in February, making him even more vulnerable to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
May will forever be known as the man who originally uttered the memetic line "Do a barrel roll! (Z or R twice.)" in Star Fox 64, explaining to players how to perform what is technically an aileron roll in order to deflect enemy attacks. May also played the villain of Star Fox 64, Andross. Outside of furry video games, May is probably best known for voicing the Soldier of Team Fortress 2; furries might also recognize his voice behind the villainous Dr. M from the third Sly Cooper game. In addition to voice work for video games, May has had a long history of working both on and for the stage as both a director and actor, beginning with USO shows while stationed in Japan. His part in a Renton, Washington production of Cotton Patch Gospel featured a combination of his voice and stage work, as he used different voices to portray 21 characters in what was reportedly his favorite stage role.
The internet was seen as a major catalyst for the furry fandom finding one another during the times before we held conventions. During that earlier period in the 1990s, conventions and meets were rare, and finding one another was done mostly through the chat rooms and message boards of the past. There was no bandwidth for video or sharing major animation projects, therefore most of our intimate conversations were textual.
For many younger furries, it was a time that was lost in the annals of a distant history. Instead they found themselves joining in amongst a wave of growing conventions being held in various places around the world on any given weekend. Ones where those in custom fursuits march out in the streets openly rather than feeling a stifling isolation of being cooped up in hotel spaces, with a handful of home made creations, being wary of a hostile media looking for a freak show.
Coming out of 2019, it seemed that the time where furry was just an internet thing was fully behind it. However a series of unfortunate events were in line for 2020, a year that has led humanity to be forced into their rooms by an irate Mother Nature as an easily spread virus has forced governments around the globe to take drastic measures to slow its spread and put strict limits on social gatherings. A situation which has forced both the furry fandom, and the internet that brought it together, back to their roots.