I didn’t really have much planned for the last day of Furry Fiesta; just one panel late in the afternoon having to do with podcasting. My partner in crime had to go to work (I wisely took Monday off) and so we couldn’t hang around, or go to In-N-Out, but such is life.
One thing that surprised me as I walked about the hotel early Sunday was how clean the hallways were. The hallways of a con hotel on Sunday morning are usually pretty messy: people sleep underneath Artist Alley tables and flyers, and empty cups and bottles are lying everywhere as the con slowly lurches back to life while the hotel staff does what it can to clean up before it does. In contrast, early Sunday morning the hallways of Furry Fiesta were almost as clean as they were on Friday.
Overall, I’d say that is a pretty good analogy for how Furry Fiesta 2012 went as a whole. Except for one panelist running late, everything appeared to have gone smoothly as far as I could see. The attendees were a bit more well behaved than I was accustomed to, probably because they appeared to be older than the usual con crowd. I had to get used to not overhearing security staff barking and yelling at attendees. If I had to guess, I’d say the average age has to be somewhere in the mid-late 20s, because there were a significant number of folks (including myself) that were over thirty years old at the event. Folks also appeared to be better behaved and even downright friendly at Furry Fiesta; it was easy to keep a smile on my face the whole weekend.
I had a fun time at Furry Fiesta 2012. As my friend Chris Holm surmised beforehand, it was the same, but different. It had many of the same things comic book and anime conventions have: special guests, a video room where folks could watch movies and series, a video game room, a dealer’s area, artist’s area, panels and big events.
Unlike other cons, the emphasis at Furry Fiesta appeared to be on originality. Except for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (which is EVERYWHERE, for better or for worse) I saw very little, if any, fanart or even cosplayers dressed up as characters from TV, movies, or video games, for that matter. Instead, people made up their own characters and dressed up as them. A significant number of the panels also focused on the creative arts: there were panels on writing, drawing, and even voiceover. I easily doubled the number of panels that I usually attend at a con and learned some good information.
The issues I had with the hotel and the people that were staying above me were the only negatives that I took away from Furry Fiesta. I had a great time and will definitely be back next year for another fantastic furry weekend!