Furry Weekend Atlanta 2009
Furry Weekend Atlanta 2009 was the sixth installment of the Furry Weekend Atlanta convention, taking place the weekend of 19-22 March 2009. There were 1371 attendees (a 31% increase over the previous year), 201 of whom were present in the fursuit parade. The theme was "Safari!"
The convention was relocated to the larger Hilton Atlanta hotel downtown, host of Dragon*Con, after busting the Sheraton Gateway hotel with 1046 attendees in 2008. Reasons cited for the move included the 80,000 ft2 of convention and meeting space, including a main ballroom of 41,404 ft2 (nearly five times the size of the main ballroom at Sheraton Gateway), as well as having 1226 rooms (compared to 395).
The FWA website, in explaining the move to Hilton Atlanta, stated that the Hilton had already been working with FWA staff on organizing the 2009 convention, and made a "concerted effort" to win the convention's business. The hotel was also cited as convenient for air travel, being two blocks away from the Peachtree Center MARTA subway station. The room rate, however, rose to $127 per night.
The convention had to move its weekend from the traditional dates around Valentine's Day to the weekend of March 19-22, due to the fact that February is when Atlanta hosts the "Cheersport" cheerleading convention, booking Downtown Atlanta's hotels solid. Trying to keep a February date would have been cost-prohibitive to the convention and its attendees. A bonus of the move was a limit to the possibility of cold weather, and as it turned out the weather was indeed pleasant, in comparison to the freezing temperatures greeting conventioneers in the previous two years.
Soon after the annual re-launch of the site, the site was further re-formatted to a Safari theme, the final break from the Valentine's Day theme of the first five years.
The Guests of Honor was professional musician Matthew Ebel, a.k.a. Hali of Firpine, and anthropomorphic artist Lis Boriss, a.k.a. Lizardbeth. Moonstalker was originally chosen as the artist guest of honor, but was replaced due to "personal issues" that would not allow him to serve the role at the con.
Pre-registration opened on May 15, 2008. Pre-registration prices were the same as in 2008, and closed on 9 March 2009.
Attending membership was $35 ($40 at the door), while sponsorship was $90 ($100 at the door) and included a convention t-shirt in addition to three-day admission. God-level Sponsorship was $160 ($180 at the door), and provided additional gifts (including a laptop bag), a dinner at Fogo de Chão with the Guests of Honor (as last year), and access to a special lounge, "Mount Olympus". Single-day admission was also available at the door.
- Photos, videos, reports: Furry Weekend Atlanta 2009 resources