MiDFur

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MiDFur
MiDFur2008

Australia's Premier Furry Convention
Location Melbourne
Website
Status Closed. See ConFurgence
First iteration Meet- 1999 Convention- 2009-2012
Final iteration 2012
Organizer(s) Australian Fandom Conventions
Subject Furry
Resources Photos, videos, reports: MiDFur resources

MiDFur, short for Melbourne in December Fur Meet, was an event (now renamed ConFurgence) that was held annually since 1999 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

MiDFur was originally Atpaw's planned December 1999 meet-up of five furs scattered around Australia. From Melbourne, Alpha X-ray. From Newcastle, Atpaw and Sepharen. From Adelaide, TimberFox and finally, from Brisbane, Whyrl.

During the course of planning, 'MiDFur' was decided upon to identify the event and word spread of the small private meet-up. However, as the time of the convention grew near, the founders began to withdraw from attendance due to real-life commitments, until all five had pulled out. A furry named Muse volunteered to step in and take up the reins. Since then, a different furry has organised the meet each year. However, none of the original founders of MiDFur attended the event they set into motion for several years.

Since then, planning of the event has become increasingly open to the public, mostly discussed on the Ozfurry mailing list and SA Furs discussion forum. Four of the five founders did end up attending MiDFur, though rarely in the same year.

Between 2003 and 2007, the meets would have a typical pattern, a dinner get together, a walk on a Saturday morning through the Melbourne shops, an artjam in a local home, a barbeque in the Saturday evening, compilation of the magazine South Fur Lands on the Sunday afternoon, and watching various videos in the evening. This was very much on the scale of sharing peoples homes (thanks Xanni and Muse for so much for so long!)

Then in 2008, in the tenth year of the event, MiDFur made the transition from furmeet to convention. For the first time MiDFur was held at a hotel, there were local and international guests of honour and other events were introduced, includeding a charity auction, panels and party events every night. At the same time MiDFur was already extended from being a three day to a four day event.

MiDFur continues to run as a convention and continues to have international guests, party events every night for four nights and a constantly rising level of organisation. As of December, 2012, the charity events have raised over $50,000 since 2007.

MiDFur 2006[edit]

MiDFur 2006 was organised by Scrapper and CynWolfe and was held from December 15 to 17 with a "plushie" theme. About 55 furs were booked for the opening night feast.[1] The event concluded with the South Fur Lands Binding Party, where awards were presented for different categories of plushies. Two different t-shirts were made available; one of them featured a colour design by Mye.

MiDFur 2007[edit]

In 2007, organisation of MiDFur was again headed by Scrapper, with other furs – Byftpup, ArcticPete, and Firey – organising parts of the event. It was held on the 14th to the 16th of December 2007. 127 furries attended the Friday dinner, which broke previous dinner attendance records. MiDFur shirts (featuring art by MistyStriker), hoodies, and lanyards were made available to attendants for purchase.

MiDFur X (2008)[edit]

MiDFur X took place 12-15 December 2008;[2] it was the first instance of MiDFur to be a convention rather than simply a meet. A comprehensive registration cost AU$195 (~US$180), providing access to a variety of events including a trip to the Eureka Tower Sky Deck and the Melbourne Zoo, two dinners, and a gala ball.[3]

The guests were 2 and Uncle Kage, Paul Kidd and Zaen Kreecha.[4] Event coverage at Canned Geek stated, "The fourth guest of honour, Rose Quoll, a Brisbane based costumer, was unfortunately unable to attend as originally planned. In her place was Zaen Kreecha, a special effects makeup artist from Adelaide."[5]

The event attracted 177 attendees in total,[6] selling out the 150-person ballroom dance and raising AU$3840 (~US$3540) for the RSPCA.[7][8] Not without some controversy though, as the complete donation of the money several months delayed due to poor management, with the final full donation made in June 2009[9][10] Learning from this, the money raised the following year at the 2009 MiDFur Charity Auction for Lort Smith Animal Hospital was collected by Lort Smith CEO, Ric Holland.[11]

MiDFur 11: At The Movies (2009)[edit]

The eleventh MiDFur was the second year of MiDFur as a convention and was held 3-6 December 2009 at Rydges Hotel in Melbourne with 247 attendees. The convention was movie themed and so the convention area was decorated with furry mock-ups of movie posters, storyboards, lengths of 16mm film and other film related objects as well as several movie-centric events including a Hollywood style Gala Ball complete with red carpet. The announced guests were 2 Gryphon and Tim Albee. However Tim Albee could not make it due to catching Swine Flu. Instead, in keeping with the movie theme two Australian filmmakers were brought in as guests of honour; writer/director Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Easy Virtue) and writer Sheridan Jobbins (Easy Virtue, Simon Townsend's Wonder World), both making their first appearances at a furry convention. And the fourth guest of honour which was kept secret until his dramatic reveal on Friday night was Uncle Kage. Australia's own ACTfur on Air postcast hosted a live show to a capacity audience. 2 and Uncle Kage paired up for a charity comedy performance which raised $840 which was followed by the MiDFur charity auction. All up, AU$5705 (~US$5260) were raised for the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, a North Melbourne veterinary and animal welfare organisation.[12] MiDFur received largely positive media coverage on page four of The Age, one of Australia's leading newspapers, with an article titled Affur of the heart unleashes animal instincts.[13]

MiDFur 12: Heroes and Villains (2010)[edit]

MidFur 12: Heroes and Villains

MiDFur 12 was held at a new venue, Rydges On Swanston, from December 2nd to 5th, 2010. The guests of honour were comic artist and writer Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo) and Big Blue Fox (German filmmaker, DJ, Eurofurence staffer, and fursuiter). Additionally, it was announced at the end of MiDFur 2009 that previous Guest of Honour 2 Gryphon was to be added to the board in an advisory role due to his experience with conventions.

MiDFur 12 had a total of 339 attendees (including board members, guests and volunteers), a 37% increase, and raised a grand total of AU$7771 (~US$8173) for the Lost Dogs Home. The donation was accepted by Lost Dogs CEO Dr. Graham Smith.

Leading up to the convention, a trailer and a video were launched, showing off the new venue and features of the event.

MiDFur 13: Tails from the Crypt (2012)[edit]

MidFur 13: Tails from the Crypt

Following venue availability issues, and the rapid expansion of members at MiDFur, the convention Board were unable to book a venue available during the traditional time frame. As such, for one year only, MiDFur was held in January, 2012, as opposed to December, 2011, leaving 2011 the first year in thirteen without a MiDFur event.

This meant that MiDFur 13 was held on January 4-7, 2012, at another new venue, the Arrow on Swanston. The guests of honor were Jibba Foxcoon, Tani DaReal, 2 Gryphon, and BigBlueFox.

MiDFur 13 once again set new records in attendance and charity contribution, maxing out at 399 attendees, and raising AU$8050 (~US$8239) during the Charity Auction, bringing the total raised by MiDFur over the 4 years of the convention to just under $35 000

The MiDFur board announced earlier in 2011 that the venue had been secured for the next two years, on the traditional First Thurs-Sun of December. This means that MiDFur will occur twice in 2012.

MiDFur 2012: The Furry Apocalypse Cometh[edit]

MidFur 2012: The Furry Apocalypse Cometh

MiDFur 2012 took place between December 4-8, 2012, and, for the first time in MiDFur's history, was held at the same venue as the previous convention (Arrow On Swanston). In honour of it's 5th year as a convention, the event took place for five full days. As a special celebration, it saw the return of almost all previous Guests of Honour, including those who were unable to make it. 474 attended the event.[14]

The marquee GoH was Blotch, who designed the very first MiDFur Convention t-shirt. Other Guests include: Uncle Kage, 2 Gryphon, Dark Natasha, Paul Kidd, BigBlueFox, and Timothy Albee. MiDFur also played host to the Furry Hall Of Fame with the 2012 inductees, as voted unanimously by the existing members of the Furry Hall of Fame, being Sofawolf Press and Steve Gallacci. Tim Sussman and Mark Brown accepted the award on behalf of SofaWolf Press.[15]

The MiDFur 2012 official charity was the Dingo Discovery Centre. The convention raised AU$13,413 (~US$14,070) during the charity auction,[16] and the charity reportedly made AU$15,200 (~US$15,945) including table profits.[17][18]

MiDFur 2012 also saw the first ever DVD recording for local stand-up comic, Anthrax.

Organization[edit]

MiDFur has had a number of organizers over the years:

In 2008, the Australian Furry Association (AUSFA) was formed to run what had become a fully-fledged convention. The organization included MiDFur board members and members of the Australian furry community. However, in 2010, AUSFA was dissolved and replaced with a partnership: Australian Fandom Conventions (AFC). The stated reasons for this were to avoid the external annual report requirement (and in particular, the ~AU$1000 fee required, which could be used for the convention), and to avoid problems in years in which the organization might run at a loss.[19]

The partners of Australian Fandom Conventions are:

As of Jan 13th, 2014 the name MiDFur has reverted back onto the public domain

MiDFur operations are still run by the MiDFur board, of which these partners are equal members.

Furry Hall of Fame[edit]

Main article: Furry Hall of Fame

The Furry Hall of Fame was conceived by CynWolfe in 2008, and its first induction was held that year at MiDFur X. While the Hall has a worldwide reach, and is not intended to be event-specific, its induction ceremony has been organized by AUSFA/AFC and hosted by MiDFur each year through 2012.

References[edit]

  1. MiDfur Dinner – URGENT by Tech Wolfox at SAFurs.org
  2. Announcing... MiDFur X, 12-15th Dec 2008! on the OzFurry mailing list
  3. MiDFur X Announcements - Arctic Pete, MiDFur forums (30 March 2008)
  4. MiDFur, Australias First ever convention Announcements - ArcticPete, Anthrocon forums (19 February 2008)
  5. Canned Geek: MiDFur X (Dec 2008) January 13, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  6. Re: Treasurer's report 05 Jan 2009 post by Fala to MiDFur forum. Retrieved 2010 January 4.
  7. Midfur Con Report - MickyW (16 December 2008)
  8. Treasurer's report status - Fala, MiDFur forums (22 December 2008)
  9. MiDFur X RSPCA donation status - Kyle Evans, MiDFur forum announcement (6 March 2009)
  10. RSPCA Donation Complete - Kyle Evans, MiDFur forum announcement (5 June 2009)
  11. MiDFur 2009 Post Con Report Kyle Evans, MiDFur forum announcement (12 December 2009)
  12. MiDFur 2009 Post Con Report Kyle Evans, MiDFur forum announcement (12 December 2009)
  13. Affur of the heart unleashes animal instincts The Age newspaper article (5 December 2009)
  14. [MiDFur 2012: The Furry Apocalypse Cometh RECAP http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enRujzK43uY] (21 December 2012)
  15. MiDFur names Steve Gallacci and Sofawolf Press as Furry Hall of Fame 2012 honorees - Fred Patten, Flayrah (5 December 2012)
  16. MiDFur Twitter post regarding charity auction (8 December 2012)
  17. [https://twitter.com/SpiCybershark/status/277719124728217600 Twitter post about charity earnings] by Spi Cybershark (9 December 2012)
  18. Comment by the Dingo Discovery and Research Centre (10 December 2012)
  19. Australian Furry Conventions & MiDFur - Kyle Evans (2 May 2010)

External links[edit]


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