Furry Writers' Guild Forum

What Really Happened at Rainfurrest 2015

Let me start out by saying I am truly sorry for the fans of Rainfurrest. But it was bound to happen given what I heard from local furries who went to the last one. “The only staff member I saw was at registration”, that is a direct quote from a furry friend who also told me about the ouch. The $7,000 in damages to the hotel, I know this is true as they work for the hotel industry, and I learned of the impossibility of no 2016 con. Then there is that closing ceremony on You Tube…what a disaster. I still can’t believe the Con Chair admitting they have no idea of the final number as badges were not checked. But still they gave themselves awards for doing a good job…really and I thought De-nile was in Africa.

After running across more than one furry who completely disagree to the official report on what truly happened, and seeing another post of FWG members excited about Rainfurrest 2015. I thought I ask those who were there, what did they actually see and what did others tell them of what they saw. So I could figure out a timeline to what happened.

There is a You-Tube video somewhere online that you need to see. It the film of a well-connected person-- (I forget their exact relationship to the con, though it’s specified in the video) of what happened there, as told to a roomful of attendees at a panel at another con. (I don’t recall which one.) Essentially, that version says it all came down to illegal drug use.

I was there. I saw the puddle in the hall when the bathroom problem happened, and was told by a staff member that it was an unfortunate accident. Later in the con, I saw an overly-exuberant teen corralled by a senior staff member I’d been in the act of conversing with. She sassed the staff member in the typical American Teenager ™ fashion, and he handled the situation in what I consider an ideal manner. While the final resolution of the situation took place outside my “zone of awareness”, I’m told that the teen’s friends warned her that she was about to be kicked out of the con (probably both true and justified, IMO) and that the miscreant then calmed down.

I was absolutely shocked when I heard that RF was in trouble, having witnessed nothing terribly unusual take place by con standards. Indeed, I’d seen far worse at cons with “trouble-free” reputations.

What purpose, I must ask, does your proposed timeline serve? I mean, what real-world good can it do anyone at this point? I don’t approve of muckraking for muckraking’s sake, and I think the video I mentioned-- sorry I can’t provide a link; I’m in a hotel room with slow, expensive internet service, will be in one for the next 2.5 weeks or so, and am not going to go video-hunting under these limitations-- tells what I perceive to be a credible tale of the con’s downfall (including the story behind the damages) in a very convincing way. It shouldn’t be too hard to find, and is, I suspect, all the record of this sad affair that’s necessary.

2 reasons 1 for my blog, and it seems one of your members is thinking about doing a story/book on what really happened. The clear and honest truth of what happened. Leaving the rumors to one side, like my blog post. Me I rather post something honest than a lie. I know that sounds funny from a blogger, who are generally stereotyped as dirt bags. Who want to destroy everybody and everything with lies. Believe me I have come across more than my fair share of them. I even ran into a couple of so called Furry News sites on Twitter, which are filled with nothing but lies. Call me a blogger with integrity. I rather be truthful to my handful of readers, than have 1000s based upon nothing but lies.

Let me ask you, what about that report I actually saw on NBC news about this teen being taken away to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. The report said there had been drinking at one of the panels,

This is the link to the YouTube video:

Essentially, as I understand it from that and from reading buni’s post-mortem, there were just too many problems for too long and the staff being too lax about them, and 2015 was the year it finally came to a head and brought the whole thing crashing down.

I was there, too (although I admit that as a GoH my experience obviously wasn’t the norm as far as not having to wait in lines, etc.). There were maybe some communication issues that I experienced, yes, but I chalked that up to a relatively large con, running with a volunteer staff, etc., and it wasn’t a huge deal. Aside from hearing about a minor incident or two similar to what Rabbit mentions above (just simple security-type stuff), I didn’t know much of anything that was happening until I saw things being mentioned on Twitter – and as usual the furry drama rumor mill was about a hundred times worse than what was actually going on.

And I got kind of tired, after I came back, of people going “oooh, you were there? was it as bad as everyone said?” like the whole con was just a four-day train wreck and we all had to step over people passed out in the halls or something. A lot of the other attendees had the same experience I had, which was that it was a typical con and it was completely possible to be there and have a good time without being aware of the other issues that were happening. (And I was at that closing ceremony, and I wouldn’t call it a “disaster,” especially if you consider that everyone was pretty exhausted by that time.)

shrug So that’s my take on it, and as much as I care to rehash any of it at this point. (I wouldn’t be surprised if you find a lot of people who are honestly just tired of talking about it by now and not interested in reliving it all again for any purpose, no matter how good your intentions are.)

That is what I want an honest post

Buni’s post is possibly the best explanation of everything as far as I can tell.

Explaining that it was a build up over the years rather than just one con that caused it helps put it into perspective. It also helps to explain why we suddenly got shut down by all the other venues and why they are keeping their heads down for the moment.

Having gone over the last few years, what Buni stated is in line with a lot of my experiences at the con. I still had a lot of fun at 2015, but you could also feel that something was up from the tension in the staff members.

While I don’t question either your motivation or that of the potential book-author, Ahmar, I can’t see where further public display of dirty laundry is going to do either the fandom or Rain Furrest any good. So, I think that pursuing this any further is probably a Bad Idea. Those who actually need to know what went wrong and can make constructive use of the knowledge already have all the access they need.

Just my .02. You’re of course free to disagree, and I suspect probably will.

you want something worse read this http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Burned_Furs

The Burned Fur movement was old in the late 90s and hasn’t been a thing for a long time now. They were a more extreme aspect of the fandom that no on really gave any attention to beyond their initial appearance. They haven’t been taken with any sort of clout for a long time now. Much like the infamous CSI episode, people have moved past it, grown up and moved forward.

I’ve been around the fandom since around 1996. Believe me, I’ve seen far worse than either the Burned Furs or the CSI episode, even though the latter poisoned my relationship with my father right up until the day he died, so that things can never, ever be made right. We as a fandom have been through a lot. Which is part of why I don’t see the need for self-generating any more pain.

On the one paw, I agree with Rabbit. On the other paw, speaking as a university history major and as a fan of objective, detailed history books, I would like to see an objective, detailed history of the RainFurrests, from the first in 2007 to the last in 2015, including what really happened to end them. Maybe in five or ten years.

I totally agree with Fred

There was without a doubt a lot of tension and fires to be put out behind the scenes that the entire volunteer staff wasn’t privy to, which just made things more frustrating for those left in the dark to see the absolute explosion post-convention. I think with the information that is already there, between Buni’s detailed post and the video and possibly a few other things that aren’t coming to mind at the moment, there’s enough that it can wait for another five or ten years, for emotions to settle and rumors to die down. 2015 might not even be the end of this story >.<

That CSI episode with an episode in A Thousand Ways to Die was what kept me from coming out about being a fur to my family for a very long time. Never told my s-mom, and only told my dad… I think I was 26? Only because he was moving in with me and I was on the computer quite a bit with it. I’m lucky that he actually listened to me fully about what that does and doesn’t entail for me and has been pretty cool about it ever since. I know that it’s been significantly harder on other families, all because of those damned stereotypes.

I don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but I was there and I had a lot of fun. I actually thought it was one of the tamer cons I’d been to. I went to Sakura-con (my first and last anime con) in that same hotel in… um, 2003 or 2004? And OMG, I will never never never never never never never attend another anime con as long as a live after that horrible experience.

A lot of what happened must have been behind the scenes. On the other paw, I went to mostly writing panels and didn’t go to any room parties. I stayed at the hotel and although we had to call the concierge to quiet down our neighbors, to their credit they did calm down after the hotel staff talked to them.

I found a post-mortem written by one of the former staff members today. It seems it was far worse than I could possibly imagine http://orrery.prismaticmedia.com/2016/02/20/rainfurrest-2016-post-mortem/

That would be the post that Poetigress linked to in her message on July 5, yes, and that at least one other person referred to in this thread.

As Chipotle noted, we’ve all been aware of this thread for some time. It was written by an FWG member.

Also, you copy/pasted the entire article here on your website https://yiffytimes.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/rainfurrest-post-mortem-by-buni/ without permission, something which you’ve been contacted about before with other articles.

You’re also hosting pirated digital copies of several furry comics and magazines on your site. While some or all of these may be out of print, you don’t have the creators’ permission to post them.

Not everything on the web is posted under a creative commons license and fair game for you to repost to your site. It is essential that you understand this, especially since you are trying to ingratiate yourself to the furry writing community.

No, this isn’t at all the best way to make friends with and influence furry writers. I leave working out the precise reasons why this might be so as an exercise for the student.