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IndyFurCon defrocks their 2023 guest of honor before convention

Edited as of Sat 13 May 2023 - 06:44
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IndyFurCon.jpgA brief press release made by IndyFurCon on April 27th announced that Cassidy Civet would no longer be their Guest of Honor at their 2023 gathering slated to happen at the end of August this year. No reasoning was given by the board for the decision in their press release.

Cassidy, in response, took to social media to express her shock at the announcement:

I feel completely blindsided. Being asked was such a rush, I canceled my Furrydelphia 22 to attend and be announced at closing ceremonies at IFC 2022. Then complete silence from the con for months, I reached out, then today the rug got pulled out from under me.

I’m in shock.
-Cassidy Civet - April 27, 2023 7:03 PM

Self-speculation as to the reason

Two hours after the shock, there was another response by the fursuiting musician as to her suspicion as to why she was let go. She noted that there was apparent bad blood between herself and audio/video (AV) staff at Furnal Equinox in Toronto this year.

So it’s clear I have to come clean about this.

FE’s AV made disparaging lies about me to the board saying I made them feel “unsafe” during my concert.

But I have the whole thing filmed. Their lies are now affecting my opportunities within the fandom. The truth will come out!
-Cassidy Civet - April 27th; 9:03 PM

Volunteers that know how to utilize such audio and visual gear for convention events tend to do so for multiple furry conventions. They are typically utilized for stage preparation and tear down and are of vital importance for the quality of the performances and events in larger rooms and stages. They don’t usually seek to be on the stage, but work hard so that others can be.

The video that was indicated would be utilized for her own defense of this situation has yet to be released. Cassidy has stated this is due to her focus on work and creation of her new album.

A history of sour grapes?

In response to the accusations, other furs had pointed out some of the more resentful behavior of the musician on social media in the past. Highlighting that she will tend to lash out and be critical of establishments when that organization refuses her in some way shape or form.
Simon Fox highlighted her grievances at Midwest Furfest in 2022, calling the staff inept publicly when she received panelist emails after having all of her panels rejected. That year she even created a video going over her issues with the largest furry con in their handling of music.

This was the year where several musicians were excluded, including Pepper Coyote, who was still dealing with the political fall out of his attendance to a Center for Political Innovation rally in August 2022. Those musicians who felt ostracized started a small movement that year called “Support Furry Music”. Some musicians played in spite of the lack of scheduling, with Pepper holding a small gathering in the lower part of the O'Hare's Conference Center Foyer (also called the "fishbowl"), behind the stairwell, and ShySkunkShaman playing outside the convention center.

But not all musicians were of the same mind here to take this situation at face value. Herr Wozzeck, a violist and winner of a Leo award in writing made a mega-thread on Twitter that highlighted these patterns of behavior of the pop musician. He noted that while she made a video speaking for furry musicians, that musicians such as himself were never inquired of alleged issues. It responds to the points that Civet made in her video, particularly about his group being asked to perform on Second Stage as opposed to the primary one, which according to the parrot performer was more an agreed upon logistical circumstance than the assumed snub to the performers the civet alleged in her video.

He also notes how she will tend to speak in demeaning ways toward other musicians. Giving examples such as when she provided “feedback” toward TygreCub {they/them}, a tiger furry musician, in a way that betrayed some jealousy or frustration at the successes of her peers. In the thread she makes the insinuation that Tygre was using cheap equipment to make their latest release in what was seen as condescension that was guised as critique, the phrasing seen this way italicized in the below quote.

I didn’t say I was better, but I have released music that I spent my own money to make and produce, going to the recording studio and seeing the process, and there is more to it than just doing a vocal at home and adding reverb. He [sic] doesn’t want feedback either, he’s [sic] made it.

-Cassidy Civet

While in these statements she insinuated that Tygre did not utilize professional tools or services to release their music, the fellow musician responded by noting that they utilized the services of Subc∅rv, a California based music producer. The public behavior also caused Fuzznet to decide to cut any possible ties with the pop-star civet in response to the social media encounter. Fuzznet, however, would close its doors a year later in June of 2022 due to financial constraints.

Comments

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At the end of the day, desperation is the root of all evil, whether it is financial or social. And the worst thing one can do when they meet someone who has a talent they desire is to attack the person with talent by insinuating they don’t have it. What seems to be drawing more issues in the furry musician community at this point are those who are coming forth with the expectation of being on all of the stages on furry cons all around the world. An expectation that has been put there by talents such as Pepper Coyote, during what will more than likely be seen as an era of general financial prosperity in relation to the surrounding decades (the “roaring” 2010s, if you will).

However, this high expectation is clearly having an adverse impact on the financial and mental well-being of furry musicians who pursue it. If you read between the lines of Civet’s shade throwing at Tygre, it is that she sees herself as spending a lot on her dream, and accuses Tygre of spending less. There also seems to be an issue where there is a desire for a more cohesive community under these passive aggressive statements when she notes person X or Y has ‘made it’ and ‘won’t accept conversation’, etc..

But perhaps it is that desire to be on all the stages like Pepper before her that prevents the ability for the community to come together? For as long as you see the others performing your art as rivals instead of colleagues, then it will be hard to create a community with your peers.

If this is true, then perhaps it's time for musical furries to start to seek out a way to try to grow wide instead of tall. Perhaps it would be better served to share the stage instead of pining for it. What if you were to give some free license to other furry musicians to perform covers of your works at conventions you cannot attend. In this way, while you may not be able to be present, your lyrics and songs will be and if you are working together you can promote each other while lowering the workload of creating songs from scratch for everyone.

This will solve these two problems: it will prevent one star from trying to take on more trips than they can afford and putting themselves in a financially desperate bind, while also creating the need to create a stronger community fabric by partnering with those in different furry communities well outside of the star’s travel zone. This can help not only lower the impacts on the planet, but also help the wallet’s of our spaces that can’t afford to ship talents world wide. Particularly in international conventions where the country they reside in may be in an relatively economically disadvantaged position to book talents on such a scale.

Hopefully someday those who see the talents of others that they respect will not pine and make wine with sour grapes. Instead we can work on our own talents and improving the flaws may instead be a better way to improve oneself, without the need to pull down others. And take the opportunity to teach the next generations of talent of the more costly mistakes we have made so that they don’t suffer the same self-doubts and trials we had to. If this can be done, we’d be a far stronger community for it.

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Oh no, that sucks for Cassidy and does not seem to be very good behaviour from IndyFurCon.

You've also misspelled her name twice in the beginning of the article.

"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 this is fixed, English phonetic to letter usage has always been a pain in the ass, and the computer won't jump in on name issues, something I'll have to keep in mind.

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Wow, I kinda thought I'd get an article out of this whole debacle, but what a surprise nonetheless!

I have more or less finished with the video script, so expect it to be out by month's end. There is a lot to say, and a lot of it is more complex than what can be portrayed on Twitter despite how many folks have said it "speaks for itself". That's what Howie Mandel said to me when I was on Canada's Got Talent to cut me off from explaining my fursuit. It's a tactic from folks who really don't care about either the truth or a person's perspective because they've already decided they don't like them and that's that . So speaking up for myself is now more important than ever with how public this has been.

But to say something that hasn't nearly been said enough; I did NOT have a contract with IFC at all. And was never followed up with by any staff beyond 2022's con chair Pandez (he had messaged me directly from his personal account as well, meaning there was never any con contact at all). So from the moment he stepped down at the same closing ceremonies where I got announced I began to feel uneasy. The months of complete silence didn't fill me with much confidence either, all for it to culminate in a con that doesn't even have a functioning website yet to put out a press release about a GOH they'd never even confirmed. Just seems like they got some weird priorities and sought to get some attention for siding against someone who has spoken out about poor con treatments (particularly at my two most recent).

Furnal Equinox especially will be getting it's own video as well, as the incident there pertained to con staff/AV going to the board to say I "threatened/attacked" them during my concert and made them feel "unsafe" to work with me. They took these concerns directly to the board only AFTER my win at FE's Fursuit Masquerade Talent show, my first win at a con competition of any kind EVER, where I no doubt made the target on my back much bigger. The board then met in secret to discuss potential ways to punish me for this one sided complaint, ultimately deciding to ban me from the following day's dance comp that I had justly qualified for. I recently uploaded the entire hour of the concert onto my YouTube channel, and I implore everyone to watch it and comment what language I said fits the description of those few staff. Or if, in fact, they're opportunistic liars taking advantage of the fact my concert wasn't being recorded or streamed...except that it was. By me. So now I can call them what they are cause I have the footage and truth on my side.

The stuff with Tygre is easy to explain as well. First my criticism of their "professional" release was largely because while they did work with a producer, they still used the same mic they use for all their Twitch streams, it's noticeable to anyone with an ear for music production. The vocals were not professional grade in quality and I thought the label was misleading, as it is something I care a lot about. Perhaps to my own detriment as it's now seen as snobbish, but I do spend a lot of time and money going to the studio because I don't want a bedroom performance to distract from the music. Though I will be attempting my first wholly at-home produced song soon, so maybe I'll get some deserved criticism for my mic use then too. As for the "made it" comments, well, that DOES speak for itself given that Tygre went from essentially a nobody with no music out in 2020 to being the ONLY act to play mainstage at MFF and BLFC both in 2021 and 2022 (while having just 1 single out). And I'm inclined to expect them to get mainstage again this year at both cons unchallenged. It's crazy what a decent twitch following and a Majira/popufur endorsement can bring, because they certainly weren't booked for their catalogue or experience. I mentioned this all in my MFF video, but Tygre WAS booked to play mainstage at their FIRST EVER CON (BLFC 2021), and that is just patently absurd, not to mention unfair to every other musician in this fandom and I stand by that. With con staff/AV wearing Tygre's merch while working to just let everyone know who they support. So am I jealous? No, but I resent that it seems like who you know is more important than body of work for cons when deciding who to platform. And that people like me have to work way harder just to get noticed or respected.

I'm not knocking anyone's talent either, I'm knocking the access to opportunities and how unfair it is on the surface. One look at the reject list from MFF last year will tell you exactly that. I've had way more people that already hate me attacking my talent during this all than anyone has ever criticized the cons I've been calling out. It's clear to a large sect of the terminally online (Twitter furries) that making the outspoken controversial fur the target rather than any sort of skepticism at cons is the way the fandom wants to operate (until it happens to them, of course). But people who base their views solely off Twitter are also just not even worth wasting time with. And a lot of the folks who I spoke up for with my MFF video have taken my side cause they know I'm right, they're just not doing so in public because of how toxic dissent is treated.

Oh, and I had already told Fuzznet "no" when they asked to release my music precisely because I knew what the structure of the "label" was (they were using the same distributor I use), and I'm not interested in giving a cut of whatever small earnings I get and attributing a second artist to my releases who didn't contribute meaningfully in any way with my music. What they were doing wasn't sustainable, and when they closed their doors it wasn't a shock to me. They decided to get a cheap public victory by slamming me for the Tygre incident despite the fact I had already rejected them, typical furry behavior to do something performative and ultimately meaningless tbh.

I do stand by my criticisms of MFF as I'm not even the only who made them. Iggy, a well respected long time member of the fandom from the Midwest was the first person to callout MFF for denying all his panels after running some for them since 2011. When he spoke to MFF about this, they accidentally forwarded him an email where constaff lied and misrepresented the way he was asking them to make him appear worse. Not to mention that he also made a video! I haven't been so lucky as for a con to goof up that badly and make it known how they truly are acting behind the scenes (besides what friends in those con chats tell me), but whatever the case, Iggy got to maintain his spot as GOH of MCFC this year, another con that I believe has some serious internal rot, that I will be bringing up in my video as another possible explanation for the IFC situation.

And I actually agree with your comment as well, Pepper set the bar pretty high. I wish musicians would be able to share spaces, but where are those spaces gonna come from? Cons. And they're not willing to make the room for us. Huge events like MFF have basically refused to create spaces for musicians, only the ones they like (who at this point is just Tygre and Trio Menagerie), the only con I can name with the same stage for all musicians was TFF (until this year where they now have two stages, a main and a secondary, and Tygre still made it on main despite having NO catalogue), so even that's not perfect. We can't just expect musicians to pick up the slack when cons are dropping the ball so hard. Bronies figured this out years ago at their own cons, why do we suck so bad at it? And why must we fight among ourselves while cons languish in their failures and blame everyone else?

However I did find your observation about the "Roaring 10s" to also be apt. A lot of my excitement to get involved in the music/performance side of the fandom came from MFF 2019 actually. Particularly where I saw the incredible success of folks like Pepper and his band Foxes and Peppers in person for the first time. It legitimately filled me with the belief that succeeding as a furry fandom musician WAS possible. But as I've started going to more and more cons, particularly American cons, where the clique-ness and favoritism of it all has come into stark light. I'm from Canada, I work in politics, and I consider myself extremely media literate. Having seen what happens at council meetings or just behind the scenes I know how immensely toxic the furry community has the potential to be behind the scenes, especially for folks who don't check all the stereotypical boxes for what a furry ought to be in the eyes of the majority/con leadership. Whether as a poc, a Canadian, a female presenting furry, or an asexual, this fandom is for everyone and it's for me too. Which is why I have no intentions of going anywhere or disappearing into the shadows. I've lived my whole life standing up for myself and now I have to do it again. I just expected better from this fandom, maybe I needed a good public hazing to know to not trust cons without a contract in place.

You wrote an excellent article, explaining a lot of the both sides of it all, which is the fair way it should be presented. Almost all of the criticism from fellow musicians has been from folks who I explicitly named in my MFF video as having received special treatment from cons. Herr might have a lot to say about how their group went from 3 to 2 concerts to "help AV", but nothing about how every other instrumentalist was rejected (nor about insinuating sexually explicit interactions between me as an asexual and Pepper, wholly inappropriate for a 32 year old, but as they also dredged up an old tweet from my senior year of highschool to make their arguments, it just looks like a sad attempt to get attention). I even saw a tweet trying to take credit for Shy Skunk Shaman's playing as being a "con event", talk about misleading. If con's don't start addressing the criticisms made towards them regarding merely improving, then they are doomed to become echo chambers of old view points and stagnate until they eventually decline like IFC and MCFC have proven. It's well known that I follow con attendance numbers, so I don't make these claims baselessly. Attempting to blacklist dissent is a bad look for everyone in this fandom. There should be more to a fur con than just going to see friends and/or have sex. Events matter, panels matter, spaces matter, people matter. Creatives deserve fair opportunities, and I will die on this hill.

P.S. My name is still misspelled in the second quoted tweet xD

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Debut Album out now go stream it plz
https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/cassidycivet/double-take

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Civit has been changed to Civet, thanks. It appears that the i/e phonetic ambiguity seems to be a common misspell for me, and both parts of your name contain it.

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There are two sides to every story and the nature of this one means we will only hear Cassidy's side of things. The board of IFC wouldn't have done this without some very good reasons. From a liability standpoint, they almost certainly can't and won't discuss those reasons now or in the future. I know some of the board members for IFC and I trust them to make decisions based on the good of the convention. They absolutely have a right to choose who will be a GoH. If somebody who was chosen does something or acts in ways that could show the convention in a bad light, they can rescind the offer. In short, they felt cutting ties with no explanation given would be less harmful to the convention that letting whatever happened slide. That wasn't done lightly.

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