This is Part 2 of my commentary on furry conventions, in relation to geography, demographics and statistics. Reading Part 1 might provide more about my perspective and understanding this in context.
Furry conventions are hard to organize, put together, and run. They require staff, a venue, and many other complicated things. One aspect that isn't brought up enough is something that con staff don't necessarily "need" to worry about: transportation. Besides the hotel cost, transportation is perhaps the most prohibitively expensive barrier to someone attending. The low focus on this is partially because cars are the most common (and often most convenient) way to get around in the United States and Canada. I would argue that due to the sheer dominance of the car in these countries, it's hard for a lot of people to realize just how disadvantageous cars can be - on both an individual and societal level. I won't focus much on the societal level, but I will focus on the individual level, to show why I care so much about transit, even in a furry context. I'll also talk about how it relates to poverty, and what we can do about it.
As governments restrict gatherings of people, furry conventions are being postponed or canceled. Here's a quick run down of events and their status as of December 27th 2021 20:30 EDT (UTC-4) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - updates to come.
A new section has been added for past events impacted for historical purposes. More information will be added to deal with virtual versions of a physical gathering if applicable.
Links go to statements if available, or to their Twitter feed or site. See also: Furry Fandom and the Internet forced back to roots by viral outbreak
Update 2021 Year End - As conventions start to open again, the overall list of cancellations and delays is becoming clunky. The final update will be today December 27th, 2021. Any future cancelations or delays will be their own newsbytes or articles in the future.
Remnants of the hurricane that created historic flooding and devastation to Houston, Texas and the surrounding suburbs continue to move northeast. For one furry convention convening this weekend in Olive Branch, Mississippi, the timing of its arrival is causing travel headaches for those who hoped to arrive on Thursday evening.
The convention announced via Twitter that nearby Memphis Airport in Tennessee had closed due to the storm:
We have been notified that Memphis Airport is Closed. We will attempt to keep you up to date!
— Mephit Fur Meet (@mephitfurmeet) August 31, 2017
Major flooding is also occurring, which will cause headaches for those on the ground as well. Fortunately, the forecasts indicate that this storm will clear out by early Friday morning so it will hopefully not put a damper on the entire weekend's activities.
Convention goers are advised to follow the convention's Twitter feed for further updates.
Convention attendees to Atlanta, Georgia's furry gathering are advised to keep a look out for any updates on traveling conditions as news reports of a major highway failure have surfaced. The infrastructure failure due to an intense fire has made national headlines and has occurred near a main road artery near where interstate 85 and 400 conjoin.
The loss of such a major road for the city could exacerbate traffic conditions in the region for the foreseeable future. It is advised if any attendees are traveling to the convention by automobile, particularly from a Northern direction, that they take additional time and make sure to keep abreast of any detours and delays that may result.
Furry Weekend Atlanta is only six days away, starting on April 6th. Its main hotel is located at 265 Peachtree Center in downtown. The infrastructure failure is located approximately nine miles north from there. The image on this article is a screenshot as of publication. Clicking on it will link to a more current map view of the area.
Amber Victoria has both written and illustrated a new novel for younger readers, Twins European Adventures. It’s the first in a planned series of books about the exploits of a pair of orphaned bears who are befriended by a young human named Thomas — and then, adopted by Thomas’ family. It so happens that Thomas’ parents have jobs that require them to frequently travel the world, and of course this leads our ursine young pair to adventures in many far-flung places. This first story, as you might guess, follows the bears and their new human family to Europe, where a series of mishaps finds the bears separated… and scrambling on a variety of trains and buses trying to find one another again! Find out more at the Twins web site, and find the book on Amazon and Createspace. The llustrations are also available as black & white prints.
Always wanted to visit Japan's capital city, but don't have the funds? Now you can travel vicariously through the eyes of a beloved plushie.
Japanese travel agency Unagi Travel, a self-styled 'Japan Travel Agency for Stuffed Animals', offers a selection of holidays for cuddly critters which range from a $35 mystery tour to the top of the range, a visit to the historic city of Kyoto for $95. Plushie owners also cover the cost of packaging their pals and mailing them to their destination. (Anyone who has ever experienced a budget airline might well envy the ability to go first class by private Jiffy bag.)
Chappell Ellison reports for the Cartoon Brew on a regional Canadian airline's use of a jetsetting raccoon businessman mascot, Mr. Porter.
More importantly, Ellison documents how this goes against the trend of airlines like American Airlines and Qantas replacing their familiar animal mascots with impersonal, stylized mascots, and why this is a big mistake in his opinion. An animated TV commercial featuring Mr. Porter is included.
We should have all extended the con by a day given the air traffic!, said one responder to a mailing list message asking if anyone else was having trouble getting home from Pittsburgh.
During the convention, an Asiana Airlines jet crashed at San Francisco International Airport, killing two, injuring 181, and delaying many flights.
What's your traveling experience been like for Anthrocon? Did you experience any other issues, such as difficulty with the high traffic in fursuit bins searched by TSA agents, following the Guinness World Record attempt to assemble the most fursuiters in one place?