FurDU

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Furry Down Under
FurDU
Location
Website
Status Ongoing
First iteration April 23-25, 2010
Organizer(s) Furry Down Under Inc.
Subject Furry
Resources Photos, videos, reports: FurDU resources
FurDU (edit)
Furry Down Under - logo.jpg
FurDU 2010
FurDU 2011
FurDU 2012
FurDU 2013
FurDU 2014
FurDU 2015
FurDU 2016
FurDU 2017
FurDU 2018
FurDU 2019
FurDU 2020
FurDU 2021
FurDU 2022

FurDU staff
FurDU guests of honor

Furry Down Under, commonly referred to as FurDU, is a furry convention that is held annually on the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia, and is currently the largest, most attended furry convention in the country.

FurDU is currently held at two hotels in Surfers Paradise that are connected to each other, Oaks Gold Coast and Crowne Plaza Gold Coast.

FurDU was first held in the 'Vibe' Hotel, Surfers Paradise, between the 23rd and 25th of April, 2010. The convention was originally intended to be held in Melbourne, but it was later decided during the planning stages (and in conjunction with the original organizers relocating to Queensland) that hosting FurDU on the Gold Coast, a major Australian holiday destination, would prove far more beneficial.

Programming[edit]

FurDU runs for three days, with programming starting Friday and ending Sunday night (or early into Monday morning). The convention changes its programming each year, these changes are reflected by the addition of new key events and the removal of events that have grown stale in the opinion of the organizers.

Since 2013, the Thursday prior to the start of the convention has become a very popular day for 'pre-con' meet-ups by attendees. In 2014 the Thursday prior to commencement was nicknamed 'Day Zero' by convention organizers even though there was no official programming scheduled for that day.

Art and merchandise[edit]

Since the conventions founding in 2010, FurDU has offered dealers tables for attendees to sell artwork and merchandise. Between 2010 and 2012 due to hotel space restrictions, the dealers area always shared a common area with the main convention space and it was only possible to offer a strictly limited number of table spaces.

While available table spaces improved at the Watermark Hotel in 2012, permitting a larger number of dealers to trade, it wasn't until 2013 with the transition to the Outrigger Hotel that FurDU dealers were for the first time able to be provided with separate designated dealers den in which to trade from.

In 2013 and 2014 the dealers den trading hours were restricted to only two days in order to allocate the dealers room for other convention activities on the third.

As of 2019 onwards, FurDU boasts the largest dedicated market for furry artists in Australia. The Dealers Den operates all three days, with the 2023 convention at Crowne Plaza and Oaks Gold Coast also introducing a more laid back artists alley. FurDU also offers its own art and merchandise at store.FurDU.com.au and in person at con operations.

Fursuiting[edit]

There are several events and other facilities for fursuiters. These events change each year with the program, with the exception of the Fursuit Games, Fursuit Walk, and Fursuit Photography which have been traditionally held since the founding.

The Headless Lounge, an area that only fursuiters can enter where they can freely un-suit and relax, has progressively increased in size each year as the number of fursuiters in attendance has also grown. Between 2010 and 2012 the headless lounge was a simple cordoned-off area with a gazebo set up for privacy, this area usually shared one of the smaller convention spaces such as a game room or chill-out area.

The transition to the Outrigger Hotel in 2013 saw the introduction of a separate 70 square meter self-contained room used only as a dedicated headless lounge. This was the first time that the convention had ever been physically able to allocate a separate room specifically just for Fursuiters. In 2014 the same layout with this dedicated room was repeated, however, the fursuit lounge was scheduled to open later on day one as this room was temporally used to house part of the initial registration queue on Friday morning.

History[edit]

FurDU Attendance Statistics

FurDU has been held in the following locations;

Year Dates Attendance Location
2010 23 - 25th Apr 92 Vibe Hotel, Surfers Paradise
2011 15 - 17th Apr 150 Vibe Hotel, Surfers Paradise
2012 27 - 29th Apr 300 Watermark Hotel, Surfers Paradise
2013 26 - 28th Apr 352 Outrigger, Surfers Paradise
2014 28 - 30th Mar 563 Outrigger, Surfers Paradise
2015 1 - 3rd May[1] 490* Outrigger, Surfers Paradise
2016 27 - 29th May 533 The Mantra on View (previously called Outrigger), Surfers Paradise
2017 5 - 7th May 600 The Mantra on View, Surfers Paradise
2018 4 - 6th May 680 The Mantra on View, Surfers Paradise
2019 31st May - 2nd June 800 The Mantra on View, Surfers Paradise
2020 1 - 3rd May Postponed* The Mantra on View, Surfers Paradise
2021 7 - 9th May 639 The Mantra on View, Surfers Paradise
2022 29th April - 1st May 899 The Mantra on View, Surfers Paradise
2023 12 - 14th May 1,219 [2] Crowne Plaza Hotel Surfers Paradise & Oaks Hotel Gold Coast[3]
2024 19 - 21 April [4] 1,421 Crowne Plaza Hotel Surfers Paradise & Oaks Hotel Gold Coast

*2015: A drop in attendance occurred in 2015, which is believed to be attributed to severe weather closing airports on both the Gold Coast and Brisbane on Friday May 1st, 2015 (the first day of the convention) which resulted in a number of flights being cancelled.
*2020: FurDU 2020 was postponed until 2021 due to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[5]

Themes[edit]

Furry Down Under features unique theme for each year that it runs. Although the convention has officially been themed since its founding in 2010, this became much more apparent in 2012 during "Carnival" where the venue began to reflect the theme more clearly through the use of stage props, decorations, and theme-specific events. Furry Down Under was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2010: "The Beach"
  • 2011: "Nightlife"
  • 2012: "Carnival"
  • 2013: "Steampunk - The World Of Tomorrow"
  • 2014: "Fhloston Paradise"
  • 2015: "Jurassic Safari"[6]
  • 2016: "Cartoons - Toon Town"
  • 2017: "The Outback" [7]
  • 2018: "Film Noir"
  • 2019: “Apocalypse - Back To The Beach”
  • 2021: "Mad Science" [8]
  • 2022: "Pirates"
  • 2023: "Retro Gaming - Game On!"
  • 2024: "Space - Furbidden Planet"

Special guests[edit]

FurDU first started featuring special guests (usually one local, and one international) as part of the convention content in 2012. Since then, it has featured the following special guests;

Charity[edit]

Furry Down Under has sponsored the following charities:

Venues[edit]

Furry Down Under has been held in the following hotel venues;

  • 2010: Vibe Hotel, Gold Coast.
  • 2011: Vibe Hotel, Gold Coast.
  • 2012: Watermark Hotel, Gold Coast.
  • 2013: Outrigger Hotel, Gold Coast.
  • 2014: Outrigger Hotel, Gold Coast.
  • 2015: Outrigger Hotel, Gold Coast.
  • 2016: Mantra On View, Gold Coast.
  • 2017: Mantra On View, Gold Coast.
  • 2018: Mantra On View, Gold Coast.
  • 2019: Mantra On View, Gold Coast.
  • 2021: Mantra On View, Gold Coast.
  • 2022: Mantra On View, Gold Coast.
  • 2023: Crowne Plaza Hotel Surfers Paradise & Oaks Hotel Gold Coast
  • 2024: Crowne Plaza Hotel Surfers Paradise & Oaks Hotel Gold Coast

Organization[edit]

Since 2016, the FurDU convention has been owned and operated by Furry Down Under, Inc. a registered non-profit association. . The association's committee is elected each year in keeping with its rules and bylaws. Elected management committee members are charged with the running of the convention, while also managing the association's general affairs. The elected chairman of the association also resides in the FurDU convention as its chairman.

Prior to its incorporation in 2016, FurDU was owned by the founders; Oz Kangaroo and FlameDrake, and operated with a volunteer committee of close friends.

References[edit]

  1. Furry Down Under Announces 2015 Dates & Opens Pre-Registration via FurDU official Facebook group
  2. Tweet - FurDU Twitter. Dated/Retrieved May 18, 2023
  3. Tweet FurDU announces contract with Oaks Hotel, Gold Coast.
  4. Telegram Channel Message FurDU announces FurDU 2024 dates plus upcoming Tails of Terror event.
  5. Unfortunately due to the new laws banning gatherings over 500 people, and our concern for attendees health, FurDU will be postponed until 2021 post on Facebook. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  6. Tweet on the FurDU account on Twitter. Dated July 19, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  7. Tweet from the FurDU Twitter. Dated September 10, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  8. Post from the FurDU Facebook. Dated June 5, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  9. Tweet from the FurDU Twitter, Second 2017 GOH Announced Dated 13 Oct 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  10. Tweet from the FurDU Twitter, First 2017 GOH Announced Dated 17 Oct 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  11. Tweet from the FurDU Twitter, Second 2018 GOH Announced Dated 31 Jul 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  12. Comment by FurDU volunteer on the FurDU Group on Facebook. Dated April 30, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  13. Post on the FurDU Group on Facebook. Dated May 12, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  14. Tweet by Jet Dingo on Twitter. Dated May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  15. Post from the Fresh Start Rescue Facebook. Dated June 6, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  16. FurDU Announcements message from FurDU's Telegram channel. Dated/Retrieved December 6, 2022
  17. FurDU Announcements screenshot & message from FurDU's Telegram channel. Dated/Retrieved December 6, 2022
  18. FurDU Announcements screenshot & message from FurDU's Telegram channel. Dated/Retrieved May 18, 2023

External links[edit]


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