A furry convention (also known as a furry con or a fur con) is a formal gathering of members of the furry fandom — people who are interested in the concept of fictional non-human animal characters who have human characteristics — who come together to share their experiences and knowledge. They provide a venue for fans to come together, exchange ideas, conduct business and participate in entertainment and recreation activities that are centred around this concept. With roots dating back to the mid-1980s in California, United States, there are currently over 50 furry conventions held annually throughout the world.
Midwest FurFest in suburban Chicago, Illinois, is the largest furry convention in the world as of 2017. Self-reported attendance for the event in 2019 was 11,019 participants.
At furry conventions, attendees can participate in a variety of volunteer-led programming, which is typically focused on anthropomorphic art and crafts as well as music and literature. Charity fundraising is something some people do. Fursuits and artistic name badges are frequently worn by attendees to identify themselves, though the majority of them do not. The work of amateur and professional artists may also be purchased directly from the artist or through auction.
The genesis and advancement of furry party
Furry conventions got their start in the mid-1980s with parties at popular science fiction conventions in the San Francisco Bay Area, such as Westercon and BayCon. Since 1989’s ConFurence 0, these parties have branched out into their own conventions, which began with ConFurence 0.
In recent years, the number of furry conventions has increased, as has the total number of attendees at all conventions, as well as the maximum number of people who can attend a single convention, all of which have more than doubled between 2000 and 2006, according to the International Furry Convention Association.
Furry conventions can begin as furmeets, where small groups of local fans gather at a regular location on a regular basis, often on a scheduled basis, to discuss their favourite subjects. In time, as the local community grows, these groups may put on events that draw the attention of dealers or generate significant fan activity, and as a result, they may be recognised as legitimate conventions in their own right.
The absence of a furry convention has led to the creation of new ones. For example, Califur was founded in 2004 following the cancellation of the final ConFurence event in 2003 in order to continue hosting a furry convention in the Los Angeles area.
Furry Party Activities
A wide range of topics in anthropomorphic culture will be covered in presentations, panels, workshops, and tutorials, ranging from literature and fiction to art and architecture to science, technology, and religion. Stand-up comedy routines by entertainers such as Uncle Kage and Alkali Bismuth will frequently take place at the convention, as will filk music, a variety of gaming and roleplaying sessions, as well as a slew of puppeteering and performing arts demonstrations. Larger events frequently have a unifying theme.
In most cases, an art show will be held during the convention, in which artists’ work will be displayed and available for purchase or auction during the event. On many occasions, there will be a “Dealers’ Den,” where art and comic book distributors and other merchants can sell their wares for a fee, as well as a “Artists’ Alley,” where individual artists will be given space to sell their work for no fee or a small fee, usually on the condition that they only sell their own work.
The use of sketchbooks by artists to exchange work is also permitted. However, erotic art is typically permitted if it is kept separate from other pieces and shown only to adult attendees; a few conventions are strictly PG-13, but the majority of furry conventions are open to attendees of all ages.
Despite the fact that individual transactions are small (typically between US$10 and US$50 for sketches or badges, $10 and US$200 for auction pieces), at the largest events the total can reach US$100,000 or more (excluding professional dealers).
A rave is usually held on one of the evenings of a major convention. Prior to the main event, there is often a “fursuit-friendly” dance, which has higher lighting and slower music to compensate for the reduced vision and mobility of fursuiters in their costumes. Once the lights are dimmed, it is common to see people using glowsticks and illuminated poi. A furry convention is also a great place to meet new people, and private parties for subgroups of the fandom are commonplace at these gatherings.
Furry games, furry races, and critterlympics are all terms used to describe events held at conventions with large numbers of fursuiters. A hula hoop is used to tether the players to one another while they perform feats of dexterity, such as dragging a sled filled with plush toys or other fursuiters around a marked track or racing back and forth while tied to one another with the hula hoop.
There are charity auctions held at some conventions that raise several thousand dollars for the convention’s yearly charity, which is typically a wildlife refuge, nature reserve, animal shelter or rescue group. Some conventions have charity auctions that are held at their conventions and raise several thousand dollars for the convention’s yearly charity. It is also possible for convention organisers to make donations from their own funds. Furry conventions raised more than US$50,000 for charity in 2006, with Further Confusion and Anthrocon raising more than US$60,000 in total over the course of their respective histories.