Furry conventions get bigger in Texas - outgrowing California
Deep 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.
With the announcement of Furry Fiesta topping the long running San Jose convention, it marks the first time since the dawn of the furry convention that California is no longer in the top five. Being infamous rival states, proud Texans would have gloated for being one to take down the west coast state from the board, if such news were to have struck the ear of one. Within the fandom, however, furries tend to be a bit more neutral to geography. We’re spread around the world and tend to attend closer conventions, but will travel great distances to attend some of the larger ones.
This leaves some questions up in the air for the future. Will we see the leading conventions solidify their positions and draw growth away from their competitors? Will Further Confusion begin to grow again, or maintain its healthy and comfortable size? One thing is for certain. As the torch passes on to the lone star state we should always remember the flagship conventions of California and how they pushed to bring the eccentric and wonderful culture of furry into the limelight at the time when it was a greater risk to do so.
Dronon's Note: Squawk!