News of FurFright closure emerges through leaked email
We had every intention of keeping FurFright going for years to come. At this year's Closing Ceremonies we dispelled unfounded rumors and told you we'd be back in 2014 and beyond. That was always our intent.
Since that time the Con Chairs have experienced a devastating turn of events in their personal/family life, making it impossible for the convention to continue. All our time, energy, and resources need to be spent healing and coping with the challenges we face. So due to circumstances beyond our control, FurFright has come to an end. 2013 was our final year.
This news was not confirmed through official channels as of Saturday night. However, the convention's website contains no information on future events a month after FurFright 2013, and no response had been made to questions regarding 2014 on Facebook.
Update: Bios (FurFright 2013's Dances coordinator) has tweeted that he is "now personally working with Crowne Plaza Sales Dept signing contracts for #furfright" and that "due to personal reasons Furfright will change a hand [sic] in con chairs for 2014".
There is a small movement right now by FF staffpersons to hold an event in the same timeframe, which is being bandied around on twitter #furfright However, the FF name will remain with the Con Chairs so this new event will also have a new name, should it come about (which we would certainly love to see!).
It is official #furfright will retire its name, but our passion and love for this fandom will live on for 2014 with a new look and name! [Bios]
Update 4 (Dec 4): The new convention's staff have terminated voting "due to infighting amongst the community over name choices":
The name will instead be chosen by board decision tonight, using all previous submissions as a guideline. While vote counts will be considered, they will not determine the winner.
The message to "friends and staff" gave few details, claiming that the reason for closure was "a very personal matter, and there are no options open to us". Instead, time was devoted to thanking the staff and attendees, and covering the event's impact, including its charitable operations.
Many greeted the news with dismay on Twitter, with some criticising the decision to shut down a non-profit organization due to personal issues:
Ed.D. (@waruikoohii): I think this whole #FurFright thing should wake people up to the issue of a few people being in charge of a whole convention. Having a board of directors who can say "Oh okay, well, we'll just elect new chairs" instead of just shutting the thing down...
Co-chair K'gra gave more detailed reasoning behind the decision to withdraw the name:
As far as Belic and I are concerned, this was a pact we made from the very beginning when someone tried to steal the con away from us and make it an illegally set-up for-profit event instead. And we have also seen conventions change chairs and then go downhill afterwards. We didn't want to risk this happening with FurFright. (This is NOT a dig at anyone on our staff or our corporate Board of Directors.) I know there are people who will say (and are saying) "omg! how selfish!", and it is to a small extent. But if you had worked really hard on something like this, poured your very soul into it, had to deal with all the stress and anxieties of making sure everything came together, you would be protective of the final product as well.
FurFright was founded in 2003, attracting ~160 attendees. It grew through the decade, instituting a 1500-person registration cap in 2011, and had raised over $59,000 for various charities through the end of 2012.