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Eurofurence 25: 'Fractures in Time' – con report

Edited by GreenReaper as of Tue 3 Sep 2019 - 15:04
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Fursuiter riding an inflatable Tyrannosaurus rex at Eurofurence 25; photo by Alex 'Khaki' Vance Over 14-18 August, Berlin's Estrel hotel was filled to capacity with furs attending Eurofurence 25: 'Fractures in Time' - both the largest furry convention outside the United States (attracting 3412 this year; a 400 increase), and the oldest running furry convention in the world. EF25 celebrated 25 years since Unci made the post on leading to the con's creation.

Due to the eponymous fractures in time, Eurofurence 25 started by showing the closing video during the opening ceremonies! That was hardly the only disturbance in time and space, as attendees also saw Uncle Kage announcing the move of Anthrocon to Pittsburgh before time stabilised enough to continue as normal. It was the most impressive opening of the past five years, and you can get a sense of the excitement from one attendee's upload on YouTube. Beyond the opening ceremonies, it's impossible for any one person to see everything. I'll give an idea of what I saw and what was going on so that everyone has an idea of what they may be able to expect in future years.

Update 03/09: The final charity total is €42 105,37.

The 2019 charity was the The Lutreola Foundation; an Estonian-based organization dedicated to conservation of the European mink. This species is critically endangered, primarily due to habitat losses and competition with the American mink – released in Europe due to the fur trade. Eurofurence raised money in various ways, including a charity shop, fursuiters asking for donations, the art auction, a retro video game tournament and daily polls.

One exciting new charity item was a limited edition magazine, Playfox/Playvixen, which contained suggestive content that drew inspiration from Playboy/Playgirl. Only 250 copies were printed and they didn't last long. (My own Playvixen submission can be read on SoFurry.) The magazine raised ~€3000 for charity; by closing ceremonies, a non-final total of €22 207 had been raised. Funds raised will be used to set up a sanctuary for European mink on the island of Saaremaa. When asked about his thoughts of Eurofurence, Lutreola director Tiit Maran commented that:

[To] see such a large group of people with so much creativity and so much eagerness to make this world a better place is heart-warming and motivating, really. I am going to miss you guys.

AlectorFencer was the guest of honour this year, and was able to bring the freshly-printed copies of her new comic Haunter of Dreams - set in the same universe as her previous comic, MYRE - Chronicles of Yria Volume 1 (co-authored with 2 Gryphon), for which she was awarded the 2018 Rudolph Dirks Award for Best German Artist. It wasn't the only new comic she brought; she also invited German comedian Hella von Sinnen to join her.

There were a surprising number of events at Eurofurence focussed on Japan. Not only was there a meet-up and a talk on the Kemono fandom by Mangluca – a Japan Meeting of Furries (JmoF) staff member – but also three talks by Kira Resari about his year-long trip to Japan, covering fox shrines and the Shinto religion, sites in Japan where you can interact with many animals and his own views and experience of the Japanese furry fandom.

For those interested in visiting Japan, Kira advises:

  • If you want to see many amazing Fox Shrines, start in Tokyo, where two Golden Fox Shrines [his term for shrines with many fox statues] are located, travel to Kyoto via Fuji (Fuji-san) and Toyokawa (Toyokawa Inari), and then visit Fushimi Inari-taisha.
  • If you want to see live foxes, start in Tokyo (two Golden Fox Shrines), continue to Shiroishi (Zao Kitsune Mura), then to Morioka (Golden Fox Shrine) and from there to Sapporo.
  • If you get a translation of your driver's licence in Tokyo, you can then rent a car for cheap in Sapporo, and drive to Kitami from there and visit the Kitami North Fox Farm.

Eurofurence 25 dance stage; photo by Djem One particularly interesting guest was the Furscience team. Originally advertised as attending EF23, they had to cancel a couple of weeks before. Happily, this time they made it. I think it worked out well for them, as attendees returned a record 75.2% of their surveys! There were two Furscience talks, one spontaneous one with Hella von Sinnen and the scheduled talk where they discussed their results and experiences over the years. While the results were very interesting, I was rather disappointed that they continued to use "fur" and "furries" interchangeably rather than adopting the convention Joe Strike set out in Furry Nation of using "fur" to refer to the person and "furry" to refer to the characters.

For an event with one of the highest percentages of attendees in fursuits, one expected, but absent, event was the fursuit parade. For many reasons, there was no parade this year. It's not yet clear what will take its place. I also noticed a strange absence of information on the after-dark dealers den introduced at Eurofurence last year. Despite featuring on the online schedule and Eurofurence app, it is conspicuously absent from both the conbook and pocket programme.

All that has been mentioned was only a subset of what was going on at Eurofurence 25. There were also dances, many other panels, the dealer's den, a daily convention newspaper, the Pawpets show and even a marriage proposal! Eurofurence is still a great place to meet up with European furs and has a very wide programme of events with something to suit everyone and tonnes of fun. I enjoyed myself and am very much hoping to visit again in the future.

Eurofurence 26 will again be held at the Estrel Hotel in Berlin over 19-23 August 2020. Themed "Welcome to Tortuga – On the High Seas", it features a banner by Caraid, who is developing somewhat of a reputation for pirate artwork. Caraid was guest of honour at Furry Weekend Atlanta 2019 and produced several amazing pieces for the pirate-themed convention. Her site header was also a finalist for the 2018 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards.

See also: Rakuen's con reports for EF21, EF23 and EF24, as well as the swag he got this year.

Picture credits: Alex "Khaki" VanceDjem


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*Notices name change*

What's up, doc?

So what did you get your doctorate in anyway?

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That's a change Greenreaper put in which I didn't bother to remove yet. But I got my doctorate last month in molecular biology. Now I just need to find some place to use it. Or anywhere I get paid, really.

"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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Thanks for that most useful info. Noted.
But why would you need to be paid? Trust fund running low?

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Major congratulations on the degree. I wish you luck finding a job in your field. I know it's not always easy in the research sciences.

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Masters degree in phrenology

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There were some odd editing choices here. I did not originally link to the stuff I got at the convention. Some emphasis was lost in the changes so I just want to reiterate that the charity total reported here is still provisional. I am waiting for the final count from the charity team and I would expect at least another €10 000 but it wouldn't be impossible for it to have doubled.

"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 thought we should link to the stuff you got at the convention, since it's ultimately part of your own personal experience - and it also lets readers see both the magazine you spent most of a paragraph on (which I couldn't immediately see elsewhere), as well as the daily newspapers. The con T-shirt is nice to see, too.

I removed what seemed to me to be a not-very-useful line about a figure that might change in the future. I didn't expect you to come back with "but I expect it to increase by 45%!" Convention charity totals don't normally jump that much after closing.

I admit I don't have much experience of how EF tots up its donations, so perhaps you have a particular reason to expect differently in this case? Maybe there was some component which was known not to be included at closing? If so, that would be more concrete information to include.

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I guess that first part makes some sense. The magazine is shown in a number of tweets and retweets on the Eurofurence charity Twitter but I didn't think it was necessary to show.

I'm not entirely sure how/when the charity counts the money or what the closing announcements have been in other years, but I know they continue to collect and try to raise money. I assume some people are feeling generous right at the end and make some big donations. The reason I think it would increase so much is that the last 3 years have all raised over 40K. Given the trend of increasing donations each year and a 500 person increase in attendance from last year, I would be quite surprised if the charity total was so much less than previous years.

"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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Perhaps last-minute donations will help. But let's not forget 2009, when furry at-con donations fell 14%, despite 13% attendance growth. Markets have been a tad shaky this year, and there's Brexit to consider (I don't know how big that is in the rest of the EU; it's just about to kick off again here, after a break for cricket).

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Before anyone'll start speculating:

The EF Closing is held relatively early Saturday evening. At that time, the con is still in full swing: Pawpetshow is impending, Art Show Sales are going on in parallel, Dealers' Den is still open, and various smaller events are happening.

For that reason, the full tally of donations is not yet available. E.g. Art Show contributes the artists' percentages (not to be confused with direct auction sales by Charity); this number is calculated only on Sunday and is not presented in the Closing.

Other sums are not fully added like small change count, because the EF crew is still busy running the convention.

And indeed, there are donations coming in Saturday evening and even Sunday that drive the totals up. So, traditionally there is a good difference between the announced sum (which covers, for understandable reasons, only the "safe" parts of the Charity) and the official end sum, possibly more than for other conventions.

-- Cairyn --
(EF Art Show Manager)

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Thanks for the clarification, Cairyn. I knew that if it was the case, there must be some reason for it.

At other conventions I've noticed that art show often closes quite early on (I think primarily so artists leaving early can get their money, and to tear down on time; but it also gives a better idea of charity figures at closing) – so there is a trade-off.

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There we go. About 20k increase to get to the final total. :)

"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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Well darn, Now I'm sad again about Dinosaur Planet not being a thing.

Well, I'll be...

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About the author

Rakuen Growlitheread storiescontact (login required)

a scientist and Growlithe from South Africa, interested in science, writing, pokemon and gaming

I'm a South African fur, originally from Cape Town. I'm interested in science, writing, gaming, all sorts of furry stuff, Pokemon and some naughtier things too! I've dabbled in art before but prefer writing. You can find my fiction on SoFurry and non-fiction on Flayrah.