Author Topic: Will Midwest FurFest dethrone Anthrocon as "World's Largest Furry Convention"?  (Read 1951 times)

Conan

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During the closing ceremonies of Midwest FurFest on Sunday, it was announced that attendance had jumped to 7,075, well above last year's attendance of 5,606 and just 235 fewer people than Anthrocon 2016.

Rumors that MFF was near or had surpassed Anthrocon were spreading well before the official announcement was made, which prompted Anthrocon to go into damage control mode, allegedly emailing staffers a two page letter on Friday that attempted to spin this as normal. People on Twitter were quick to crunch the numbers and predict that, based on the growth over the past couple years, Midwest FurFest 2017 will have more attendees than Anthrocon 2017.

I personally heard quite a few people saying that they were considering skipping Anthrocon 2017 as they would rather reallocate the funds they'd spend there into attending MFF 2017. Additionally, there seems to be a fairly widespread dissatisfaction with Anthrocon in recent years for becoming "too boring", among other things. That and the constant "scandal" (and resulting boycott) that pops up every time 2gryphon goes off and insults a group of people may very well spell trouble for Anthrocon's 2017 attendance numbers, unless Kage gets on TV and convinces more "outsiders" to check out the convention (I noticed a significant number of "normies" wandering around with one-day badges following the parade this year).

2017 will be an interesting year for furry conventions.



Campion1

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There's just something more laid back about MFF's atmosphere to me. It doesn't help that AC keeps relocating the Zoo to a concrete brick.

Conan

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There's just something more laid back about MFF's atmosphere to me. It doesn't help that AC keeps relocating the Zoo to a concrete brick.

Kage tweeted during the con this year that "nobody" was using the zoo, questioning if they should have it next year. Responses were mixed, with a lot of people suggesting it be moved back to the Westin (shot down) or moved into Hall A (the unused hall next to the Dealers Den, shot down because "that's where the fursuit group photo happens" among others). Good suggestions to swap registration (the present location of which interferes with getting into the Dealers Den) and the Zoo seemed to go ignored.

So in reality, it's just more of Kage/Anthrocon refusing to change. MFF cut the parade and fursuit photo this year and nobody really cared. Anthrocon insists on having it because ????????they always have???????

I also heard a rumor that the parade might expand next year because the City is pushing for a longer outdoors portion, and we all know Kage can't say no to the city.

Anarcho-Loser

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MFF will continue to do well simply because of what it is: An alcohol and drug fueled sex party. Not that theres anything wrong with that if thats what you want. However, there are downsides to the con for anyone this doesnt interest.

I didnt have much experience dealing with the con staff, but if the reg line this year was any indication, the con isnt particularly well run. On site reg was faster than pre reg, and you had to wait in two lines for pre reg. One to check in and then another line to get your actual badge. Hopefully next year they will get it together.

To be blunt, Rosemont is a hole. There is nothing to do/see in the area most furries are willing to wander. The only thing around the convention are the hotels the attendies stay at.

The food there is limited in choice, fuckin expensive, and worst of all, not even good. Even the food court at the outlet shops (a 20-30 minute walk away) has inflated prices, but at least the Sarku Japan I ate at had flavor. Personally paid about 33% more for worse food than I would typically get in downtown Cleveland.

The con was overcrowded and thats probably why people thought it was bigger than AC. I dont know if thats typical for it or if they were just rocked with unexpected growth, but this con was basically shoulder to shoulder people, its inescapable. Since theres nothing to do and nowhere to go, everyone basically loiters in the hotel lobby forming massive crowds. If the con stays in Rosemont, theyll need to get space in the actual convention center, because I dont think the Hyatt cant really support anymore people on its own.

Good things about the con, theres basically no wait for the main hotel elevators. Of course, thats because the Hyatt only has ten floors. Another good thing is the con suite. Its basically ACs zoo, but with free soda and snacks. I dont know if the con provides those or if attendies donate them, but Im sure its a godsend for some people and neato for the rest. As an attendee, I personally liked that the dealers room was broken into a few smaller rooms. It was more interesting than walking into a big empty looking warehouse like at AC.

If AC does wind up losing the title of Biggest Furry Con to MFF, maybe that will be the motivation the board needs to oust Kage.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 12:51:19 pm by Anarcho-Loser »
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wag

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Hello! Long time listener, first time caller.

Anthrocon insists on having it because ????????they always have???????

You said it yourself: Anthrocon actively uses the parade as a marketing tool to appeal to the city and its denizens, and they receive benefits as a result, including increased media coverage and probably a notable bump in post-parade registration tallies.

Anthrocon seems to focus much more on impressing and winning over people outside of the fandom instead of providing an event for those within. Leading a parade of fursuits outside in late June/early July with potential 90-100 degree weather and bystanding crowds of literal randos sounds like a terribly physically/socially uncomfortable idea (which I'd hope they'd have learned from the 2008 parade where they tried to take the photo of all the fursuiters on the balcony of the DLCC from a boat on the river and ended up forcing over 450 attendees to stand in potential heat stroke conditions), but the comfort of the attendees takes a back seat to media representation.

MFF seems to care about their representation to outside groups as well, but not to the point where it's prioritized over their patrons. Even if their numbers don't exceed AC's, I'd personally rather go to a convention with 7k members of the community rather than 6.5k from the community and 2k who are there to observe the spectacle. Not to suggest that isolationism is a good policy, but an open door is very different from going out and attempting to actively recruit.

nopenope

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This is crazy talk from autistic troglodytes.

AC is fun beyond other cons because of the relationship with the city. The people in the airport or on transit on the way there want to know what's going on. The people in the bars and restaurants act like they're in on some amazing secret thing other cities don't have.  Outsiders who are part of actual local creative scenes, not just internet based fantasy ones, want to mingle the con with their own.  Like trying to get furries to come to clubs to treat them like rock stars or get them involved with indie filmmaking (something furries barely do compared to other fandoms).  People act like tourists in their own town, driving down to see furries just walking around.  And it's a cool city with character, with those bridges and old brick buildings, it's good to get out in it.

The parade is everything fursuiting is made for, that no other con has the balls or willpower to make real.  That's what makes Kage's PR focus extremely admirable when he's not whitewashing the freak out of furry.  It's so unimaginative to keep fursuiting inside hotel lobbies for a bunch of others doing the same thing... that's like having an awesome car that only sits in a parking structure for other car collectors to look at.  Or putting on a theater show behind the curtain so only the crew can see it.  Hotels are the lamest for atmosphere, especially with con dances that have 2/3 of the space full of empty chairs.  Reminds me of seeing an indie horror movie show in a haunted ass abandoned train station where it was filmed... the movie sucked but the surroundings made it a cool experience anyways.  If furries had budgets to live up to the imagination they claim, they should deck out con space to look like cyberpunk tree forts, instead of conference rooms by the airport.  I can't wait until furries get their shit together for organizing parade floats, like these Ozfurs did for their mardi gras.  https://youtu.be/WPEBXD3npUk

Oh no, normies might come. What is this, 2nd grade recess where you tell other kids not to play on your jungle gym?

camellia sinensis

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people go to cons to hang out with friends and have fun.

all that shit you said is way beyond the scope of a bunch of tired queer hobbyists who just wanna be able to drink and crack jokes and try to find a good time their hotel rooms are empty enough to fuck in

fursuiting and con spaces are the way they are because the subculture exists as a way for a bunch of esoteric people to have fun with each other. What would making cons a themepark for nonfandom tourists accomplish?

nopenope

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In other words creativity = lame normie shit.  Con theme next year and every year: gay, alcoholic and tired

Pi

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i don't like your particular brand of self-loathing so you get an asinine title
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rodox_video

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Nothing he proposes is inherently wrong.

You're also a bit late in calling for NORMIES OUT when it's been slowly happening for something like a decade. Everything awful from the outside world that furry was created to escape is now here and in charge and nobody with any influence gave a shit while it was happening because it Wasn't Their Problem. Now the websites are run as an ad platform for either Tween Bootleg Second life or Big Horse Dildo, and it really won't be long now before something similarly gross happens to the cons.
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camellia sinensis

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no one is calling for normies out   ??

just "why should we make furry cons a big showcase extravaganza for ppl not involved in the fandom when cons mainly exist to be social vacations for people who rarely get to hang out otherwise"

both yall project more than a drive in movie theater

nopenope

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Why design original characters or write stories. Just buy one of those halloween gorilla suits and drink with your cliquey friends.  Might as well take a senior citizen cruise.

You can do a con any weekend of the year some place in the world.  Any of them can host the same old shit of getting wasted in tupperware social spaces. But there's nothing wrong with having one that makes some effort to take pride of place in a city and culture, and show off some cool shit or even make it feel like a furry space for the weekend, even a bit of mutual effort to raise the bar with another one.

To be clear I don't care whether "normies" come or not, mingling is what grown ups do.  I'm talking about people who aspire to be creative and their friends/supporters.

ProvincialTwit

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lmao you're dumb get out

camellia sinensis

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you do it then dude

like labor doesn't come out of thin air. put up or shut up lol

Anarcho-Loser

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No one hates the idea of the parade itself. They hate that it takes hours of standing around in suit before it starts and that immediately afterward they do their best to force you to stand around for the fursuit photo.  Non participants hate that it disrupts the conspace and makes doing anything at the con impossible while its happening. These are problems that could fixed so that everyone could be happy, if only the people running the event werent morons.
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Conan

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No one hates the idea of the parade itself. They hate that it takes hours of standing around in suit before it starts and that immediately afterward they do their best to force you to stand around for the fursuit photo.  Non participants hate that it disrupts the conspace and makes doing anything at the con impossible while its happening. These are problems that could fixed so that everyone could be happy, if only the people running the event werent morons.

The photo comes before the parade, but close enough. All the complaints I've heard boil down to:

- Fursuiters who hate having to stand around for an hour for the photo while they wait for "stragglers", then have to wait as the Dorsai yell at people trying to get everyone in the shot, followed by standing around for another hour or so waiting their turn to join the parade and get out of the room.

or

- Attendees who get trapped in part of the convention center (or are restricted from getting into it) as the parade snakes through it, getting yelled at by the Dorsai for trying to cross the parade route to get out.

And that's why other conventions stopped doing parades. MFF's parade tied up too much of the hotel and caused problems with people trying to get to the front desk. BLFC was restricted from having a parade by their venue because it would impede guest access to multiple parts of the casino/resort.

Kage/AC would rather please the "City" and a tenth of one percent of the population of Allegheny County, at the cost of Anthrocon attendees having an unpleasant convention experience. This isn't "anti-parade" or "anti-creativity", it's acknowledging that the thing has become a logistical nightmare, and that the convention perpetrates this nightmare for no real reason other than it causes TV crews to show up and impresses a very small percentage of the population of Pittsburgh.

nopenope

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No one hates the idea of the parade itself. They hate that it takes hours of standing around in suit before it starts and that immediately afterward they do their best to force you to stand around for the fursuit photo.  Non participants hate that it disrupts the conspace and makes doing anything at the con impossible while its happening.

A cool part of the parade is how it loops around, so if you get in the front half, you can go twice and make it longer :)

These are problems that could fixed so that everyone could be happy, if only the people running the event werent morons.

you do it then dude
like labor doesn't come out of thin air. put up or shut up lol

And that's why other conventions stopped doing parades. MFF's parade tied up too much of the hotel and caused problems with people trying to get to the front desk. BLFC was restricted from having a parade by their venue because it would impede guest access to multiple parts of the casino/resort.

BLFC tried to spin it as "new and different!", avoiding the sadness of hitting max capacity at a venue walled in by miles of parking with no surrounding city or overflow hotels to expand to.  It's cool what happens when you have a good relationship with a city.

Everyone was disappointed at BLFC's lame 'fursuit fest.' It was the same as standing around and waiting for something to start, except without the cool parade part. It felt like being told to go play in your room. Nobody said the fursuit fest was their favorite thing and everyone preferred the parade.

Kage/AC would rather please the "City" and a tenth of one percent of the population of Allegheny County, at the cost of Anthrocon attendees having an unpleasant convention experience. This isn't "anti-parade" or "anti-creativity", it's acknowledging that the thing has become a logistical nightmare, and that the convention perpetrates this nightmare for no real reason other than it causes TV crews to show up and impresses a very small percentage of the population of Pittsburgh.

The con is wildly popular with furries and keeps growing. The media of Pittsburgh is all over it like a kid with a new puppy. I wonder what other events they have with that many watchers. Kage's 'logistical nightmare' came from three years of planning to coordinate lighting rental, electricity, permits, street closures, barricades, traffic control, and support from the city, who printed and distributed "Pittsburgh <3 Anthrocon signs" to 5000 watchers.  This is a rust belt place that still has sunday liquor laws, paying for freaky gay nerds to run around in what some places look down on as fetish wear.  They are treating it like a crowning achievement of their tourism industry, with $3+ million worth of fake fur in the parade alone. 

Apart from one or two jerks who earned dirty looks for bringing a confederate flag, it's pleasantly left almost completely up to participants for how they express themselves. If you prefer to chug warm beer in a hotel room, then by all means let everyone else have the fun.

It's just perplexing to see insatiable urges to whine about cool things. Even if you don't like the spectacle, that's a reason why your vacation with friends will still happen if core volunteers burn out.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 10:20:18 pm by nopenope »

camellia sinensis

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why are you trying to own someone totally unrelated to me with something i said

are you okay

rodox_video

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i apologize for making this thread worse
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Conan

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In somewhat related news, the bar across the street from the Westin is shutting down.

https://www.facebook.com/tonicpittsburgh/posts/10154210364447081:0

Where will all the furries drink now??