If you haven’t gone and read the former RF chair’s post-mortem on how RainFurrest 2016 got cancelled, head over and do that now. It’s worth a read, and I think it’s something the fandom should remember for a while.
A few thoughts I have, in no particular order:
– Kristi does a good job of not trying to focus blame on any one person or group of people, even where the situation would make it easy.
– People sometimes complain about conventions’ draconian security measures, especially at AnthroCon, but when you don’t enforce your security, you become “the place where people get away with stuff.” And eventually someone has to be accountable for that. Yes, sometimes the security people go too far, but I’d rather live with a couple annoyances than lose a convention.
– I’m sorry to see RainFurrest go. I’m hopeful that some other conventions will step up their writing tracks now, seeing how successful RainFurrest was with it. Midwest Furfest is already doing that; I’ve heard from a couple others that they’d like to expand their writing track as well. Furry Fiesta is hoping to do more writing panels, a few this year and more next. And of course, I hope to see RainFurrest back within a couple years.
– I hope people reading this understand how hard a convention staff works year-round. These were extreme circumstances, of course, but every convention spends months in advance planning, and the staff are all volunteers, working the convention duties around their day jobs. To those of us who show up on Thursday or Friday and hang out with our friends for a few days, it seems effortless, but a huge amount of work goes into every convention. Next time you attend one, thank the staff for all their hard work, because far too few people do that.
– This is by no means solely a “furry problem.” Just last week, someone wrote a plea to congoers to stop destroying hotels. Furry cons were not the subject. Some of the particulars in this case were furry (inappropriate behavior in the headless lounge) but people do this at every kind of convention. We don’t have to. Be respectful of the hotel and the convention. Let’s make furry cons better than the norm.
– If you do break something at a hotel, don’t freak out. Accidents happen, people get drunk, whatever. Go find a staff person (con or hotel) and take responsibility for it.