This year's Tails and Tornadoes convention, held at the Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is only the third furry convention I've been to. Previous conventions I have attended were Oklacon 2004 and Anthrocon 2017, and I only made it all the way to Pittsburgh due to being nominated for an Ursa Major award and wanting to attend the awards presentation (I ended being late and missing the announcement of my category, but I lost anyway). Tails and Tornadoes, like Oklacon before it, had the advantage of being cheap and nearby, as I am a local Oklahoman.
As I live only an hour from Tulsa, I made the decision to just commute daily to the convention, as I calculated that the price of gas would ultimately be cheaper than staying at the hotel for me, not to mention cutting out the hassle of actually booking a room and possibly even finding a roommate for the stay. So, I have no idea how the late night atmosphere of the convention was, or the reality of the room situation there. The truth is, that part, the social aspects of convention going is just not for me, despite the fact that it seems a primary draw for just about everyone else. Hence my relatively low total life convention attendance.
Before the coronavirus shut down many furry conventions around the world, a strange thing occurred at Furry Weekend Atlanta in 2019. The popular electronic dance group Mystery Skulls performed a musical set at the convention. This is a pretty mainstream group, well-known for their singles such as Money and Ghosts.
When in-person events started happening again, Furry Weekend Atlanta's new headliner was again more known for their mainstream work than for their ties to the fandom. FRND, also known as Andrew Goldstein, is not quite as well-known as Mystery Skulls. After having worked with many mainstream musicians (such as Maroon Five's Beautiful Mistakes as a co-writer), he started to work independently and created his own singles.
Now in late 2022, FWA is giving a wink toward Little Nas X, a very well-known rap artist, born and raised near Atlanta. He's known for stirring up moralistic controversy with his music videos. I guess that's how you know it's real rap.
As FWA's drive towards mainstream musical talent has continued, furries have become a lot more pointed in their questioning of the convention. But whoever's been in control of FWA's social media account has continually dismissed such criticism. For instance, during the FRND announcement, they responded to one critique by posting a gif of Clauhauser calling the critical poster "cute". At the time, this post only drew more attention to the critique. FWA later deleted the tweet and apologized for their behavior. In response to the threads that appeared after the Little Nas X announcement, they have started to use their social media tools to limit responses to no one but the artist in question.
In this article, we'll be going over what defines a work as furry, why this is separate from how furry music is defined, and how Furry Weekend Atlanta may be able to help mitigate future concerns for their furry attendees and the musically talented within the fandom.
Since its debut in 2019, Tails and Tornadoes Fur Con (TTFC) has striven to create an atmosphere welcoming furries from around the world to Tulsa, OK each year. This year's theme, "Ren-Fur" was chosen in 2021 by attendees and staff during the closing ceremonies; influenced by renaissance stories, it included custom artwork and theming courtesy of TTFC Artist Guest of Honor Boltie.
Fursuit maker Guest of Honor Heads & Tails Studios worked closely with the convention and new official TTFC charity Animal Rescue Foundation of Bartlesville to produce charity auction items, such as two brand-new fursuit heads, one which was raffled for charity and the other that was auctioned off. The result of ARFs' charity fundraising was a convention-wide contribution of more than $16,000.
TTFC also had some notable moments, including an all-new dance competition and floor wars program that included one of THREE marriage proposals during the weekend. In addition, TTFC's programming included performances from Citrine Husky and many more! Barring the unexpected brief power outage during closing, TTFC was able to close out 2022 with a smile on everyone's face.
Our journey starts near Frankfurt am Main's main train station, where I pick up a friend. We head to Czechia, buying a vignette at the Czech border; arriving at Hauenštejn Castle, near the German border, after a four-hour drive.
This is it! A medieval castle, some parts of it still in restoration; furries with all their luggage waving to us and welcoming and greeting us in excitement. They are just as excited as we are.
Welcome to this months Digging Up Positivity, as this video is premiering, I will be at Eurofurence! And because of that, our special guest is this years Guest of Honour: FoxAmoore! But first, all those amazing charities from in and around the fandom.
The Zeitgeist was markedly different mid 2019 when the local furry community started looking forward to their next annual get-together. Compared to Camp Feral in some quarters, the recipe was just about perfected back in 2017. An intimate, all-inclusive convention where the emphasis is on community and group activities. South-Afrifur is the brainchild of the visionary that was Ivic Wulfe that saw the first proper furry convention held on the African continent. Three years strong and going from strength to strength. But, of course, 2020 happened. And the fandom wasn't spared.
The organizers did the sensible thing and postponed the in-person meet not once, but twice, so that the pandemic could run its course. So profound was the isolating effects of the lock-down that an online only local convention Fursaverance saw its debut. There were cries of jubilation when it was announced that South-Afrifur would return in 2022. Covid would not be the end of the troubles, though. In May 2022 - just as the convention organizers went all-hands-on-deck - news came that Ivic Wulfe passed away.
A very big welcome to the June edition of Digging Up Positivity, it was a big month. A lot of good was done, and I hope that you enjoyed the countless of festivities around Pride Month, just remember, you be you and love is love! We saw how many of our friends banded together to help others, both big and small and in the spirit of making this world a better place.
This months’ guest is Star Raccoon! And he has a very special wholesome story to share about his job in one of those biiiig mouse theme parks in Florida, USA! And because I am always streaming on Monday, I am giving a way a license for Clip Studio, the software I use to draw. If you use a Mac or Windows, you can run this, so stay tuned till the outro to learn more. And together we'll learn who has won one of those lovely Thabo T-shirts from ArtworkTee (dot com)! But for now, the charities!
Welcome to the May episode of Digging Up Positivity and this month it is 10 years ago that Thabo was sighted in The Netherlands for the first time! I do have a little bit about that in the very end of the video, including a give-away! This very T-Shirt from Artworktee, more info at the end of the video! But first, on with the charities!
Hello everybody and welcome to the April edition of Digging Up Positivity! This episode is filled to the brink with charity events and fundraisers. And now that most of the world is slowly opening up again, the urge to go out and have fun again is real with many of us! When I visited some of them, like Elfia, it was like a reunion from a long lost time, and many conversations went like this [scene from the Witcher]:
I haven't seen you since the plague.
But besides new events, charities and just plain old outside fun, recently a new furry social network has been rapidly growing: Barq. And this social network has been founded by a Dutch Fur, Woutske, who is our featurette of this month, but now, without further ado: The charities.
A letter coming out of Motor City Fur Con highlights a situation that furry conventions may need to be made aware of, and to take actions protecting against. This opinion piece will go over this situation, and why it's important that our community address this situation, and against possible weaponization of it.
Primarily, conventions are a big deal in the furry world. These organized efforts of staff and volunteers are an excellent opportunity for friends from great distances to come together and meet one another. Something that can seem quite simple on the surface creates great stress to those at the helm. Earlier this year we found a small group of furs overburdened and liquidating a company when they took on too much workload. The tragedy being there was probably no ill intention, but their small group taking on too much created vulnerability and eventually it all came tumbling down.
Leaders of conventions, and those that volunteer, sacrifice a lot in order to keep these essential functions for our fandom running. This sacrifice was emphasized through recent news out of Detroit’s Motor City Fur Con when the convention chair of FurSquared announced that in order to attend Motor City Fur Con, he lost his job. Now Alkali, a convention chair who has done an untold amount of hours for charity work and running panels at other various conventions, looks for subscription support in order to focus on creating content for the fandom he loves with his spouse Xanni. And in spite of this rock to his world, he is still running FurSquared this very weekend.
While Flayrah has been critical of leadership of conventions in the past, today the focus goes in the other direction, toward the attendees. Because the loss of employment of one of the volunteers of Motor City Fur Con was followed up by another troubling letter from the same convention about how other attendees chose to spend their time.
Hello and welcome to the March edition of Digging Up Positivity. Where one global challenge is slowly nearing its end, another is waiting in its place to take over. But together we stand strong, and remember, in darkness even the smallest ray of light shines the brightest. And with that, I would like to mention that some of this episodes causes are about the Ukraine situation, including this months’ featurette: Blajn.
This months’ episode is packed with so many amazing charities, and even more. It is good to see that there is still plenty of force for good in the world. And with that, let's go on with listing them all!
Hello and welcome to the February episode of Digging Up Positivity from a very, very windy Netherlands. Of course we have some lovely charities, including furries making a tremendous impact in Madison County, USA. Furthermore we have some lovely animation news. While I always get a little bit of mixed feelings with reboots, some of the upcoming ones do make me quite curious.
And we have some interesting developments regarding the environment and our special guest is a spectacled cat from the USA, chairman of the Western PA Furry Weekend, car enthusiast and owner of a golden voice: Manicknux. Oh, and if you like my art, or are a LEGO enthusiast, please do check out my twitch channel! Currently I am building the big Ecto-1, the famous car from Ghostbusters.
But now, first, the wonderful causes we have been raising funds for!
Corgi Events LLC, a for-profit organization that operated five furry and two brony conventions, is to be disbanded according to a letter released by one of the conventions, AquatiFur, on February 12th. This follows a series of events and malfeasance concerns that started with an unusual email sent out to their Dealer’s Den mailing list. This letter, sent February 8th, alleged the LLC's sole-proprietor, Corey “Treble” Woods, was going to file for bankruptcy and bail on the organization.
This troubling news followed a stressful slate of Corgi Events running Sin City Murr Con’s première instance, just after Painted Desert Fur Con a month prior. Testimony from Boiler, a prior member of staff, shared their side of the story on this unrelenting demand on staff. It talked of a loss of faith in their organization’s leader due a spate of problematic behavior, including alleged drunkenness, prolonged response times to urgent financial matters, and delays in compensation. Tempers finally blew over into the public sphere when Treble terminated Koi from staff, a person who he admitted was running many day-to-day operations.
As a new year comes upon us, the article which has served us from the start of the pandemic to this point in keeping track of closures and cancelations of furry gatherings shall be put to a close. That article with historical information around closures for the pandemic from the years of 2020 through 2021 can be found here.
Unfortunately we are not through our long night in these woods quite yet as recent news from Further Confusion has shown. They will be postponing their gathering due to the a new wave of the virus. Therefore this, like the prior article, this will be used as a archive for 2022 conventions who need to close or suspend operations for the year.
Last updated July 20th 16:22 ET. Latest update description: Further Confusion announced to restart in 2023
Hello and welcome to the November episode of Digging Up Positivity. October and November are traditionally busy months filled with all sorts of conventions and events, and boy does it show in our overview. We got a lot of fundraisers for various charities all over the world this time! Which brings us to our featurette: Joe G. Bear, our American friend who is one of those wonderful people behind Team Tony, one that is working so hard to raise funds against this terrible disease of ALS [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]!
But first we have the other charity news, followed by some animation news including Disney’s Zootopia+ and of course after all of these things, we will find out who has won that wonderful Thabo Meerkat T-shirt ‘I am just a mere kat’.
So now, on with the show!