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Oklacon canceled for 2015, more than likely permanently

Edited by GreenReaper as of 23:43
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OklaconOklacon, held since 2003 (originally as "Festival of the Feral") at Oklahoma's Roman Nose State Park and billed as "the world's largest outdoor furry convention," has been cancelled for 2015, and probably permanently. The convention's website now contains an announcement of the cancellation:

So, it is with a sad and heavy heart that we inform you that Oklacon is cancelled this year and indefinitely.

We understand the extreme disappointment and trouble this will cause those who had planned to attend this year’s iteration of the world’s largest outdoor furry convention. We understand some may have arranged travel, time-off, or forfeited other plans to attend Oklacon - and to those who have been adversely impacted by the State of Oklahoma’s decision - we are extremely disappointed too.

The event that led to the cancellation of Oklacon is explained in an earlier journal on Fur Affinity:

Unfortunately, our balancing act was thrown asunder during Oklacon 2014, when three first-time attendees showed up a night before opening ceremonies, intoxicated themselves, and engaged in public sexual intercourse in the middle of group camp in night. This unprecedented display of poor taste crosses a line on many levels - sex is not what our fandom is about. Substance abuse is not what our fandom is about. Irresponsible behavior that puts others at risk for disease or unplanned pregnancies is not what our fandom is about. By registering for Oklacon and engaging in this behavior in a public state park, in a space reserved in the name of the convention, these individuals represented our fandom in these ways, in full view of the general public. It also crossed the line from 'obscene' to 'illegal'.

In the State of Oklahoma, women cannot legally consent to sex if they are intoxicated, even if they consent before or afterwards. Park management, appropriately, reported this incident to the Blaine County District Attorney as required by Oklahoma law. Various Oklacon volunteers who witnessed this event also provided written statements of the incident to fully disclose what occurred and to document Oklacon's appropriate handling of the issue - upon discovering this incident we stopped it, we immediately reported it to the rangers as we are legally required to do, we in good faith disclosed all the facts (including the registration details of the three involved and the minor forms for any registered minors at the time of the event), and we ejected the three individuals in question from Oklacon, sending them back home early to their respective states.

The post asserts this event was a sort of last straw between park staff and the convention, which was denied access to the park. Oklacon had rescheduled the con, which had traditionally fallen on Halloween weekend, a week earlier to Oct. 22 through 25 at new site Sequoyah State Park; however, when the park staff there were also made aware of the previous event, they also denied access to their park, and it was made clear that any other state parks would deny the convention access as well.

Oklacon's cancellation message had information about refunds for convention-goers who had already registered for this year's convention:

First and foremost, those who paid any funds for registrations, lodging, tent spots, dealer spaces, etc. for Oklacon 2015 will be made whole through refunds. There are over 250 payments we have to date to refund, so please bare with us as we work to reach out and provide an orderly return of your monies no later than October 31, 2015. We will be unable to honor refunds for ‘comps’, contest winnings from 2014, or deferrals from a previous-year no-show. Any and all requests for information or refund status should only be sent to - not to any one individual, through social media, or via SMS or IM.

A smaller convention, Oklacon peaked at 352 attendees in 2013. Since 2009, there has been a 22% budget cut to Oklahoma state parks, causing the closure of seven state parks in 2011.


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LondonFurs had issues recently, too. Thankfully whatever happened doesn't seem to have made it to a criminal complaint.

Oklacon has a decade-long history. I got to experience it myself in 2013. To echo the words of the organizers, it is "a shame and a huge disappointment" to see it end. But they should not be the ones ashamed for what happened.

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I noticed that the Londonfurs issue didn't have any proof and looked like it came up months after a supposed incident where nobody knows names.

Cases like that shouldn't make leaps to conclusions. There's no reason to think that one isn't true but sometimes it's faked.

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I also heard about these events and figured someone would write about them soon. It is a pity, especially when it has such far reaching consequences. It seems strange to deny access to all parks though. Not because I want to downplay the event but because it's not really the convention's fault. There is only so much that can be done to control guests behaviour and if they did everything they were supposed to then how does it make sense to punish the convention? Unless the convention is run by psychics they can't prevent incidents before they happen.

There was one line here that I find particularly strange.
"In the State of Oklahoma, women cannot legally consent to sex if they are intoxicated, even if they consent before or afterwards."
Is that intended to imply that males can legally consent while intoxicated? It would make no sense to have different standards of consent for men and women but it's also abundantly clear that such double standards are applied. Often, when both parties are drunk and engage in sexual activities, it's the male that is blamed even though both are equally impaired and equally at fault. I would be very curious if that false dichotomy is part of the Oklahoma legal system.

"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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Oklahoma sexual misconduct laws aren't known for being progressive; the fact that it contained a sexist double standard probably just didn't occur to anyone.

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That stood out to me too and I had the same comments in a long post about the cancelation going out monday. It has some great quotes from an attendee.

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I totally Agree with you, the way that law is written out. A female can Agree to Sex. then have a drink Then if they didn't like it they can report you and you'll be the one getting in trouble... Oklahoma is the worst place to go if your not a Bible Thumping, Church Going, buffoon. this is not a place one would want to go to for anything. Oklahoma stopped being a ~New Frontier~ Ages ago. now days its just an unfair State. But enough about that point. to make it even worse becasue Most "Not all but MOST" Oklahoman's tend to be Very Closed Minded to anything Different Or anything that they deem Against the bible in even the slightest way, this is not limited to just law issues instead its Concerning anything They Disprove of even in the slightest. . i know i was born and raised there myself, and i could not wait to get out of Oklahoma, So thanks to all those Shows that came out cornering Furies and the fandom that where targeting a Very minor Group within it. The people of Oklahoma where already looking for an excuse to Shut it all down. The issue with the law only served as a means to an end in their eyes and gave them the final fuel they needed to get Oklacon Closed Down pertinently. So yea My point is Simple.. if your In Oklahoma, Don't be Doing stupid things Like calling A Convention "the Number of the beast.", that was not very smart to do in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is after all the Heart of the Bible-Belt, as for anything else, Well just use common sense when heading into Oklahoma in the future. And above all Remember, Oklahoma has Some of the Most Outrageous Stupid and totally Unfair Sex laws Of any state i Know of. if your going there Please keep your Stuff in your pants for your own safety in the future.

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Closed minded and oppressive places breed the most kinks and fixations. Pakistan completely bans porn but...

According to the data released by Google, Pakistan tops the list of most porn-searching countries and leads the way in porn searches for animals like pigs, donkeys, dogs, cats and snakes, news website Salon reported on Thursday.

Also, "Why Is Gay Porn So Popular in Pakistan?" "Among the least tolerant nations surveyed was Pakistan, where only 2 percent of those surveyed said society should accept homosexuality."

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Its probably a by-product of being an outdoor con, but they had no real relationship with any local community. WikiFur lists Watonga, Oklahoma as the con's home town, but I doubt most Watongans are aware that the con existed.

As I pointed out in the last paragraph, the Oklahoma state park system has had a bad couple of years; I think that's partially to blame for the deteriorating relationship. The park is probably understaffed, and the staff left over is probably underpaid. Any prejudices (and it is Oklahoma, so reports of homophobia are a bit of a "no,duh") that might have been overlooked were probably exacerbated. And I doubt the relationship before the "chill" was, well, probably less bad than "nonexistent."

The park wasn't really part of Oklacon, and vice versa; it just happened to be there. Perhaps, with hindsight, you could say making more of an outreach to the park staff early on might have saved it. If the park staff felt like it was "their park's convention" (kind of like Pittsburgh very clearly feels Anthrocon is "their city's convention"), they probably would have been more tolerant. It instead seems like it probably became "that thing in October we always have to deal with". It wouldn't have been hard to turn the convention into something that "brings money into the park" in the minds of the staff; instead, reading in between the lines of the FurAffinity statement, the park staff seems to have thought of the convention as "something that scares away money from the park."

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Being an attendee every year since Oklacon 2004 I figured I'd chime in with some clarifications.

Actually, while the citizens of Watonga didn't all know us, we were on very good terms with the city government, since we were bringing in over a tenth of their local economy every year through patronizing their gas stations, liquor stores, restaurants, and motels. We'd also had fursuiters get invited back to march in the parade for the Watonga Cheese Festival, so yeah, they actually really liked us.

Of course, they have no say in what happens at a state park, that's all the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and such. So they can't do much to help.

As I understand it, originally the park rangers actually really liked us, we were a lot cleaner and less destructive to park property than the Boy Scouts and church groups that frequented the place (and usually vandalized the A-Frames and bathrooms with carved/inked graffiti) They even relaxed the backward alcohol laws, letting us drink liquor and wine in the cabins, as long as we kept it in the cabins and cleaned up...until about Oklacon 7 (2009?) when we had a record amount of furs drinking themselves into the ICU, and had to call an ambulance. That tends to damage the relationship. From that point forward, the alcohol ban was strictly enforced, attendees were getting their cars and backpacks searched by rangers, and I heard a lot of the park administration was switched around to much less friendly staff to boot.

So yeah, last year those 3 idiots had a threesome right in front of the main building on the campground, a park ranger just happened to walk right up on them, and that resulted in a clusterfuck which both staff and attendees thought was settled properly, but which came back to haunt us when RNSP denied the application to return and refunded the money.

There is something slightly inaccurate on the site though, it turns out the fur that "told on us" actually wasn't deliberately ratting us out, he actually just tried to rent a private cabin directly through Sequoyah State Park instead of through the Oklacon website, and mentioned it was for "The Oklacon event" (at one point this was how you rented cabins back at RNSP, I guess he didn't get the memo). When reserving the group camp for the event, the con staff didn't tell them the reservation was for Oklacon (for obvious reasons) and so this fur's phone call threw up a red flag with the staff, they made some phone calls internally asking what the hell "Oklacon" was, and it eventually resulted in Sequoyah banning us, then the state banning Fuzzy Productions, LLC from all state parks.

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I heard the same from a con attendee and quote him Monday at - he said Watonga chamber of commerce members called them "bigger than christmas" and recommends complaining to the state dept of tourism. I note that the entire con should not be punished for the mistake of three people. Thanks for clarifying the "ratting" BTW, that is different info from the impression the con statement makes.

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I do recall furs giving plenty of business to the local Sonic restaurant, late into the night.

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Seems like I might have had it backwards; the relationship was a little too good. The rangers were allowing con-goers to get away with alcohol violations when they really shouldn't have, and it of course all blew up in the saddest, most predictable way right at the worst possible time (if you're right about 2009, that's probably when state parks began to go under scrutiny). I wouldn't wonder if the "switching around of the park administration" wasn't the result of people losing jobs; if you're correct, rangers knowingly allowing rules to be broken, and said rules breaking caused an ambulance to be called. That sounds like something that should get a person fired.

Sounds like the fact that alcohol was involved in 2014 was probably a bigger factor than it first appeared.

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Oklahoma's pretty backward about alcohol laws, you can't even sell anything above 3.2% anywhere but a liquor store, and when its sold there, it can't be refrigerated. Concordantly, only 3.2% and lower beverages are allowed in the state parks. The park rangers were actually getting drunk WITH con staff before the switchup I mentioned.

I would blame the furs drinking themselves to the hospital on the furs themselves (I heard rumors some may have been slipped roofies, but others just didn't know when to stop drinking), not the relaxation of the alcohol ban. Half the fun of being at the con was getting plastered with your friends, as long as you had the brainpower to put the damn bottle down and know your limits. Sadly, not everyone does (and as I said before that problem is hardly limited to outdoor conventions).

The sister convention, Wild Nights, has had over-consumption issues as recently as last year, so the con membership is working on solutions like branding anyone that drinks like a fish with an "Under 21" badge and punishing those providing them alcohol after such branding the same way we would an attendee caught giving alcohol to a minor. It's essentially the same crime, anyway. Similar to how a bartender can be prosecuted for selling alcohol to a clearly intoxicated individual.

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South Africa also had liquor stores with normal supermarkets only carrying wine and, I think, beer. I don't drink beer so I didn't pay attention. Then I came to Europe and it seems all alcohol is available at ordinary supermarkets. Not even sure there are separate liquor stores. I got a bottle of absinthe (60% alcohol) at the same store I do my weekly grocery shopping.

"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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Ok Tybron, you need to get your facts Strait here on one point.. at no time during the mentioned 3some Did any park ranger Ever Show up. it was not till after a Convention Head Staff/ Coordinator, Spotted them and walked up to them did anyone even know What they where doing "I know Because i was About 30 FT away Form them and i didn't even see what was happening till after the staff Showed up and i walked over to see what was going on, after all i was working with Convention security"... Another Member "the one that lead The Werewolf Game in the Tent" Called The park rangers After they had already been Spotted and was being dealt with by Convention staff. I also know this to be the case as The head told me That that person just called the park rangers, and told me to Go away becasue in his words (you don't want any of What is about to go down beyond that point.) Again I repeat the park rangers and park Staff never saw the actual Event happen, all they had was the Reported call from the dude with the werewolf game when they got there and then what they gathered after the fact, from the staff that happened to Be dealing with it. So please I ask you all not to be posting Details Info about things you know nothing about, unless your going to get your facts Strait.

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I base what I say directly upon what Oklacon staff told me. I don't appreciate being called a liar, a cheat or a thief, and you can get 100% fucked.

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I've run into something similar in the history of all furry fandom conventions that I'm writing. I have based much of it on individual con reports, due to a lack of any other documentation; and some of those con reports are not favorable. Some of today's con committees are screaming, "Why are you saying such negative things about us?" Because I got it from somebody's con report.

I've tried to weed out the con reports that are obviously biased, but it's not easy to tell what "really happened" when all that's available is one fan's opinion -- or a con committee's attempt to whitewash its reputation rather than to tell what really happened.

Fred Patten

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You can probably find plenty of other sources for these events, but here's the reports I was involved with: MFF 2005 - MFF 2006 - MFF 2007 - FC 2007 - AC 2007 - WikiFur News on conventions - Flayrah on conventions.

[a][s] has a infographic on South-East Asian furry conventions (click several times for full size).

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then i suggest you rethink where your getting your information from, as its not 100% accurate, and i never called you a liar you called yourself that just now though.. all i did was tell you the truth as i was one of the people that was helping to deal with it. Nothing more nothing less. So instead of getting all bent out of shape over having what you said, Corrected with the truth, be more Careful in the future that your not reposting someone Else's Unreliable info. I WAS THERE I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED AS I WAS HELPING TO DEAL WITH IT' so who are you going to believe in this madder Someone that says they know what happened.. or someone that was there and Was in the very middle of What happened and Knows For a Fact the truth of it all? Its your call really but if you disregard the truth from someone that was there And was on staff and Security at Oklacon During that event then your really not all that smart are you. I hope that's not the case, and that you can understand that i am not trying to degrade you or make you into a liar. but well if your reposting a lie that someone else told you then Blame them for it. And learn form it so that it doesn't keep happening. and peace-out Tybron.

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You're both unreliable in this, as I've heard from another staffer that confirms the story.

See? There's no evidence either way. How do we know you're telling the truth? You're just another anon (like me) on this news site, necro'ing ancient threads and getting all defensive for the wrong reasons. I mean, I've heard from HG what happened and his story lines up closer to the guy you're yelling at.. so is he a liar too?

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actually no i am not, if the Staff are saying this then its because even they dont know about that point. Yes the park rangers where called by the Werewolf Games Host. But that call happened after they had already been caught. The 1st person that saw it was one of the Heads, or at-least one of the Coordinators "now it is possible that The Werewolf Games Host saw it 1st, Reported it to Staff, Then Called the park rangers as the staff went to break them up and put a stop to it, However even that Still means that the park Rangers never caught them never saw them till after the fact. that's all i am saying and if your still going to argue with me on this then your simply a troll, the park Rangers where not there at this point and time. and they did not catch them, the park rangers where called in and that's a fact. i am not going to even argue about, another Fact is that the people that where doing this ~Act~ Already where dressed and had been made to stop what they where doing before the park rangers Ever Showed up by another Staff Member "i was the Second person to arrive and i arrived in time to see the female being asked Quietly To Please put back on her pants, and not every Staff knows this fact. because the original Plan was to keep it All Hush-Hush, and to handle it Within the Convention itself by kicking them out. there was never any plan to call the park-rangers into it by the heads, as they already knew that would start some Shit, due to the fact that they had already been having some issues with the park staff.(( A Attendee (the werewolf games Host) took it upon himself to call the park rangers in ,)) I was standing right there when it all went down. I cant make you believe me but I'm not trying to make you believe me. i am simply telling you that your comment that the park-rangers Caught Them in the act is Simply Not true at all. And if they had been Caught ~as you say~ by the park-rangers In the act. They Would have went strait to jail on the spot, Not Remained till the following morning So they could Sober up Enough to Drive. And you may ask How do i know this info. well that's easy I was watching them and their friends all the rest of the night To make sure they Didn't do anything else Like For example "Beat the heck out of the very person that they brought with them Because he was the one that did it, with their other friend. They are Blessed That a park ranger didn't see it with their own eyes truth be told. the entire Convention would have been Shutdown On the spot if they had, that's how Oklahoma's laws are concerning Sex Issues and Public Acts. And as i said B4 They where already having issues with the park staff before this Ever happened. so what ever you want to believe Keep on believing it I cant change your mind. but to all you other people out that that want to know the actual Truth of how it went down. Well Now you know. I never said anything about it before as I was bound to Confidentiality, However with Oklacon now Closed down for good, i am no longer bound by that, but i will still not give out names as That is not for me to do. so please do yourself a favor and stop arguing with me and just Accept that your Comment about them being spotted by the Park Rangers, was in fact Not Correct. and get over it. Its not the end of the world that you where fed Inaccurate Information. it just means that ((A: Either The person you ~heard~ That info From was told a lie himself or B: he really Doesn't know.)) But it was in fact a Convention Staff Member that Showed up 1st the Park Rangers got there after they had already gotten dressed. Any Further arguing is Pointless and Will only Serve to make whoever you are A Cyber Troll, and i am sure that your not one of those so please Stop while your ahead.

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PS: I am Not just some Staff / Security Member, I didn't hear about what happened I lived threw it because I helped deal with it all From Start to finish, when it happened till the following morning when they left as they where told. The Staff wanted me to return the next year in 2015 And some of them wanted me to attend other Conventions or gatherings where they needed security, however i was unable to go to any others as i do not live in Oklahoma. I would have been Security in 2015 again however if it had not been shutdown.
The point I am trying to make here is Pretty easy. if you cant take The word of someone that Dealt with the issue Personally, As fact, and would rather take the word of someone that only was told about it Then your not really all that Smart, no offense intended there. really, I want to see people Stop spreading this Story Around but if your going to then the facts should at least be correct. peace out yall

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Did Oklacon ever consider private parks?

"A Spirit Guide Totem Wolf."

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So, rumor time, but apparently RainFurrest may have been ejected from their hotel for 2016 for ... something even weirder. On a scale of weirdness, hey, a drunk public threesome, while certainly not on my bucket list, is at least, I mean, that's something that could happen at a convention for businessmen.

There's a photo going around, which is just embarrassing, and I'm sure stern words were passed around, but "the hotel kicked us out for next year" rumors have started; I'm thinking they might be just rumors since the fandom is really sensitive thanks to Oklacon right now.

Then again, maybe they just got kicked out. I don't know; I covered the Oklacon story because I felt obligated to share a story from my own state. Someone else can deal with this crap, though.

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I doubt it, the same post that claims that that happens has a letter from Hotel Security pictured that has the words "seeyou [sic] next year" on it.

The letter was to inform them the con was over and to be more reserved as guests. Which while it may seem odd/common sense. It doesn't raise any flags for me.

That being said, I'd hope if there are differences that the convention staff works with the hotel to amend the issues in a way suitable for both parties.

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Yeah, it sounds like a case of telephone.

"A furry did something embarrassing at a con. The hotel was probably angry." becomes "A furry did something embarrassing at a con. The hotel is angry." becomes "A furry did something embarrassing at a con. The hotel kicked them out forever!" which will eventually become "The hotel kicked a furry convention out FOR NO REASON!"

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From what I can tell, it sounds like there was a business convention right after the furry one which is why the hotel was making a plea with furries to keep it down after the conclusion of their convention.

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So two completely unrelated events, with some completely unfounded scare-mongering for flavor.

Never mind guys, I think we got this story covered right here.

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Yes, there was a business convention starting on Monday.

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I don't think this is even the first time that's happened - I went there one year and I heard the same thing (though I wasn't at the main hotel myself).

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So there was something going on at RainFurrest, but I don't think it had anything to do with the photograph that went viral, or caused the letter which was probably just "hey, got another convention coming up right after yours, so it would be nice if you guys kinda got out as soon as possible, plz thx kbye".

However, they had a real problem with vandalism this year; the RF staff felt obligated to make an announcement to attendees. RF will be at the same place next year, and I really doubt there's going to be a major venue change in 2017, but the con staff did feel the need to write an open letter saying, basically, seriously, guys, don't be so shitty to the hotel next year.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling, due to the one guy getting photographed and going viral (even though it apparently had nothing to do with anything), it might be an uncomfortable con for anyone connected with "babyfur" next year.

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I imagine it's most uncomfortable for some of the staff; it's tough to rein in a group you empathize with, let alone one you're a part of.

I'd be surprised it this message didn't have more to do with the combination of alcohol and other intoxicants, though.

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Yeah, that seems to be the running theme with con trouble this year.

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Private parks would be an interesting option. Problem with most Private parks in Oklahoma, is that their mainly religious. Which is not a bad thing, but it can cause issues.

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I think governments do themselves no favors when they punish those that report issues and cooperating by attacking groups that they associate with as a result of said actions.

Here we have some individuals who were committing a crime that was reported by other furries. And what do the furries get in return? Their con banished from the park system.

Yes, some will note that it was the result not providing the police the information they wanted without requesting a subpoena or warrant for that private information that led to it and not the incident itself. But that brings up another point. Is it really right for the government to punish those who ask for due process? The American South will be the first to clamour about the invasion of privacy committed by the Federal Government, the NSA, but when it comes to those incidents closer to home; that they could you know, do something about; there is dead silence.

Why did the government not just ask Oklacon to ask its attendees for any additional information? Or perhaps get them in touch with who helped them out before?

It should not be those who dress in animal costumes asking the government for a bit of human decency.

I guess the message to the other organizations running events in those parks is clear. Snitches get stitches. And that's definitely a message no government with hopes of maintaining law and order should want to send.

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If you believe this was a singular event, I have a bridge to sell you.

Oklacon has been having issues with attendee behavior for at least the last 6 years. I guess the OK Department of Tourism finally just got sick of the bullshit.

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Even more RainFurrest drama.

It was better when it was Conifur.

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When someone starts off with "I've heard from various people" I stop listening. Furries don't just have a reputation for "drama" because of their behavior. It's also because of all the rumors and gossip that then exaggerate the problem behavior, spread stories that aren't true, and make everything 100 times worse for everyone in the process.

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Even more damning is when they go "They made headline news" and I haven't seen anything. Particularly they didn't link to any evidence of such an article existing.

I have a furry subsection in my Google News, if there was any article about RainFurrest, I would have seen it.

EDIT: Well, here we go;

Yeah, seems like there were some issues that need to be addressed.

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Perhaps the time has come to accept that furry conventions are not necessarily family-friendly events, and to make appropriate rule changes and find areas willing to host them on that basis?

I rather liked the way FOXmax was going, and I think it would have been an interesting addition to the variety of furry events now available. Unfortunately they were apparently not upfront with the venue.

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The problem is not that we had adult things... the problem is the opposite...

As in the childish destruction of the property of other's...

Rainfurrest is in good company here though, Anthrocon had similar problems that led them almost getting kicked out of the Westin as well during their first few years in Pittsburgh, if I recall.

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I strongly disagree, I feel the the fandom needs to be more age inclusive for children to elderly. The problem is a few bad apples. My experience with Multi genre convention in Portland, Mewcon (Manga and exotic Worlds) went the 18+ rout was people just behave badly, half the convention attendees did not pay and convent folded that year. I dare say making the con more "adult" ends up just sends wrong the message ok to act like a debaucherous jerk in pubic. Plus most hotels would not go for it. If foxmas was upfront it still would had its contact pulled.

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It doesn't need to be more age inclusive. Furry is big enough for there to be family friendly events and conventions that are more adult in content.

"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'm 74 years old, and I would strongly object to being turned away from any furry convention, campout, or other event on the grounds that I'm too old to be a furry fan. Theoretically, at least -- since I'm hospital-bound or in a wheelchair, I can't attend most furry events.

Fred Patten

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Since I didn't say anything about preventing people over a certain age, I can only assume you are interpreting me as saying some people are too young to be furs. That is not the case. I was saying that certain people are too young for certain activities. Not inviting a 14 year old to an orgy doesn't mean they are too young to be a human, it means they are too young for an orgy. If a furry convention wants to focus on more adult aspects that are unsuitable for children then children should not be at that convention.

"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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Our local most popular furry event is 21+ because it happens at a bar. But the local adult furry party can allow many who are turned away from there because it's 18+. Unfortunately you can't put both together under state regulations, because sex plus intoxication is an invitation for legal trouble (Not that it isn't kind of basic human nature anyways.)

Funny how the adult party gets high ratings for being respectful and drama free... but you have to be older to drink than to have sex.

Greenreaper is right, there's huge demand for adult type activities, the problem is venues and liability. The US is different from other places because it's so litigious and absurdly neurotic about such things. This is the country where a bunch of insane zealots banned alcohol for a little while, which of course didn't work but it did encourage organized crime. I wonder how it would work in Germany, where age to drink is 16?

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All the events I've heard of in Germany, even furmeets, appear to be open only to those 18 or older. However, there are probably some exceptions, and it doesn't exactly stop people sneaking in.

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Ironically I think the worst side-effect of Prohibition was not organized crime. It was probably the invention of carbonated sugar drinks created to replace it. Which in the long run have proved far more deadly than any crime lord could ever dream of being.

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A lot of furries are in trouble, then - I checked the stats a few days ago and Inkbunny's Twitter users favour carbonated drinks. At least they also like home cooking…

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I was challenging, disagreeing with, and expanding on GreenReaper generalization "Perhaps the time has come to accept that furry conventions are not necessarily family-friendly events" I do not thing this is true given Anthrocon and other who strive to be inclusive to younger furs and I expanded to older furs too ( there was an incident with a fur group in Portland Oregon, not Rose City Furs, that alleged insulted an elderly gentlemen who attend that meet). By the way, the lady started Rose City Furs because she want a safe place for furs who are minors, adult furs why are turn off by the explicit drama filed fur events.

My feeling are the opposite furry convention should be all age events, but there noting wrong of having separate "adult" events. I simple could not in good conscience attend. I seen other attempts for 18+ / 21+ conventions failed in other fandoms including MewCon ( Portland multi genre) and Providence Anime Conference.

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Camp Feral! is a good example of an adult-only furry gathering. When it changed from all-ages to adult-only (for insurance purposes, and to eliminate having to check for ages at events where alcohol is served), one veteran attendee dropped out because he could no longer bring his minor children with him. Camp Feral! is more successful than ever.

Fred Patten

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But success is in the eyes of beholder I as a Christian I would not attend camp feral, adults only is a red flag with adult mean license to be grossly deviant in conduct and media. I may only attend a camping fur con if the Christan furs get their idea of a first Christan fur con off the ground. I also wonder there other reasoning such the younger spoil bratish generation inability to think outside their peer group. A environment we boomers created.

Off that rabbit trail aging about cam feral "success" can go for 50 to 147 attendees and banning minors, in a decade plus but Kumoricon, and anime in the same decade goes form 400 to 6000 attendees, still allowing minors and families to addend and every have "adult " 18* panels in the evening. It a matter of putting in the effort like requiring 18+ hand stamp in the evening at Kumoiricon and enforcing a curfew. I do not see the Science Fiction, Anime, and Steampunk fandom being so stuck up on minors attend, but even welcoming and accommodating minors with special kids events. My question is why furry has to be so different?

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Kumoricon is not a fair comparison. The largest U.S. anime conventions are ten times the size of the largest furry cons - most of which do accept minors. Anime is simply far more popular.

Outdoor events are also less capacious than indoor events. It seems Camp Feral could grow to a maximum capacity of ~300-350 at its current location. Wild Nights faces a similar issue; this is one reason there were two such events in Oklahoma, though not the only one.

The perceived risk to minors from the outdoors is also higher, and hence the associated insurance costs. Frankly, there's also not as many people who want to spend four days in the wilderness! :-)

Furry events do not "have" to be different with respect to minors. However, some furry events may choose to be, either to offer a different experience, to reduce insurance costs and staff burden, and to allow them to take advantage of venues which - for similar reasons - may not permit minors. Diversity is a good thing.

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As much as I loathe looking like I agree with Acton on anything, "Furry fandom bans children from cartoon animal convention, fails to see irony" is a headline that kind of writes itself.

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Heh. I'd call it a little ironic to expect children to be attending events in a fandom which was created in large part to tell stories not intended for them. Not necessarily due to sex, but because the topics concerned were considered unsuitable for or uninteresting to children, and hence not provided-for in popular cartoons.

[Also, this is how many furry events run already. Heck, even the LondonFurs meets are 16+ - for a start, because they take place at licensed premises.]

But anyway, you live in Oklahoma. Have you been to either of the furry fandom camping events? They're primarily social gatherings with a lot of outdoor-related activities, not cartoon animal convention. Sure, you can get furry art and there's games like Werewolf, but they're not really designed for kids.

Also, haven't we had this discussion?

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Did you just ask me if I've ever been to Oklacon? Because you did not just ask me if I've ever been to Oklacon.

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I did, because I didn't know at the time if you had! I then saw that you mentioned going in 2004 in the linked article, but I'd said it by then.

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Darnit, I am using old jokes again (I knew it was an old joke, but I didn't think I had gotten around to using it yet!)!

I think I'm coming off more aggressive or angry than I mean to today; yeah, I think it's probably a good idea to ban children from conventions that get closed down due to rape charges. But it's still worth pointing out that we went:

Step 1. Cartoon animals! Yay!

Step 2. ???

Step 3. So we're all agreed, no more children allowed.

Also, I think at this point you realized I did go to one furry convention; it's just you also pointed out I'm Oklahoman right before asking. What furry convention did you think I would go to? Because the answer is always going to be "the cheap one down the road". For a lot of questions.

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I think we're all edging around the same idea - that some events, intended for furries, can reasonably be age-restricted or be targeted towards particular groups, although some might prefer to restrict specific segments rather than the whole thing.

I believe age-controlled events may still be called furry conventions, not something else. They aren't a theoretical concept; they've run successfully for years in Europe. Some are even - *gasp* - invite-only! (Primarily a capacity issue.)

Perhaps I gave the impression that I thought all furry conventions should be adults-only. That wasn't my intention; "not necessarily" doesn't mean "not ever". :-)

Many furs have never attended furry conventions; I didn't recall if you had. As for being local, some go to, say, Anthrocon but not a more local event, perhaps because they see plenty of locals at meets and have limited holiday time. Many furs are not outdoor types, or see more benefit in attending a traditional convention (e.g. if their focus is the art).

As for "no more children" - perhaps Fred could help us out here with some insight on how many there were in the fandom to start with? My perception is that it was not initially something that kids would have been involved with, just young adults… clearly furry fandom has become far more visible to children with the spread of the Internet.

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None that I can recall. I was 39 at the 1980 Worldcon, and all of the other proto-furries there -- Mark Merlino, Nicolai Shapero, Tim Fay -- must have been in their late 20s or 30s. During the 1980-1990 period, with Marc Schirmeister, John Cawley, Jim Groat, Kjartan Arnorsson, Edd Vick, Roz Gibson, Ken Sample, the early Rowrbrazzle members -- I don't know of any who weren't at least in their late 20s. The earliest children that I can remember was when Edd Vick brought his two- or three-year-old toddler to a ConFurence in the mid- or late-1990s, and I doubt that you could say that she was "in furry fandom" -- she was a child brought to a furry convention. (The only reason I remember that was that she tried to mountain-climb up the 6'8" Karno; very cute.)

Some of the first wave of "Internet furries" at the 1992 and 1993 ConFurences who were unknown by "the old-timers" and who only used fursona names may have been in their late teens. I understand that one of the first attendees of Camp Feral! in the late 1990s brought his under-10 children with him.

Fred Patten

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I'm going to put this delicately, because there's no need to provoke, but Crossaffliction's opinions on Oklacon have been contradicted on multiple levels. It was pointed out that they made leaps to unreliable conclusions, they were contradicted by people who were at the con, and they were simply factually incorrect. A debate elsewhere degraded to the point of denying facts about law, and refusing to give citation when asked, until the actual law had to be linked.

Argument is just academic and nothing personal to me. The point is, if he were a judge, he should recuse himself on this topic.

I'll avoid linking, to be nice, and just quote another commenter: "you have a biased opinion because of an incident that happened to you personally eleven years ago... I am not diminishing what happened to you personally, but I don't think you had any reason to write the article with a biased standpoint. From a purely journalistic standpoint, it's unethical."

I'd ask him if he's ever been to another con since 2004, and assume not, which says a lot about ability to judge (even simply with huge developments over time) but it's better to drop it there.

Anyhow, there is nothing wrong with cons catering to niche topics... that's how cons succeed, in the words of Roo, chair of camp Feral.

I have a really casual chat with Uncle Kage posting in a few days, about security worries and con closures.

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So, just to be clear, you're going with "crossie admitted he was sexually molested, so you should shame him" as your thoughts on the subject?

You can't have logged on here without getting my message; I tried. I'm sorry I aired cathartic opinions on Reddit, i.e. neutral ground and a safe place. And, you know, a social forum where citations aren't exactly needed. There's nothing not cited from outside sources in the actual article, and no opinion whatsoever, unlike, say the first line of this article. Just as an example.

And I wasn't the only guy on the Reddit thread who had actually attended Oklacon (unlike some other participants in the thread who will remain nameless) who agreed, yeah, no big loss.

But you're obviously still upset about something; you were very upset at the time, and I feel like you probably thought, since you started the Reddit thread, that it was an attack on your article. Now, I have attacked your article now, but that was only after you attacked mine first.

My posts were just opinions on the Oklacon cancellation; and they were inappropriate for an article on the events. That's why I didn't put them in this article, and why I posted them on Reddit instead of Flayrah.

One thing they were not is they definitely weren't an attack on your piece; I'm sorry, you were just the guy to start a Reddit thread that I happened to use. It wasn't a personal attack, and I'm sorry I made you so angry that you're still attacking me personally a month later.

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Are you shamed about bringing up a personal issue that nobody asked about, and don't need to know, and admitting it's the reason you are "aggressive and angry" (your words)?

Get that complex checked out, and don't shoot the messenger. There are professionals who can help.

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Actually, let's just shake hands (metaphorically speaking) and agree never, ever to speak of this again, and in a month or so we can be friends again, okay?

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Rainfurrest got booted from their hotel.

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Where does it say that they actually got kicked out? They could have voluntarily left after some hot head disagreements between them and the Hilton for all we know.

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Contextually I'd say the odds are in the favor of the Hilton being the one to ask them to leave given the quote from my link above from the con chair:

"The Hilton is not happy with us. We’re doing what we can to keep the worst from happening, but the convention is going to have to grow, and we’re going to need your help to do it."

So, it sounds like they didn't want to leave. I'm guessing they wrote that letter when Hilton brought it to their attention that they are going to review the future relationships with them and then a few days after that came back with their decision.

However, obviously, that's speculatory. There is the possibility that the convention left of their own accord. But to me this is one of those "you can't fire me, I quit." circumstances. If the person 'quitting' knew there was a chance they could be outright 'fired', then it's not a saving grace to be active in your own dismissal. That's just an illusion of grandeur. The convention should have never been to that point to begin with.

There are other factors here, that I believe it will need be important to address fully. I could go into it here but I think it's large enough to maybe warrant its own article.

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