Philly’s “Unleashed” joins a New Thing of independent Furry dance parties. Call it- “Furclubbing?”

by Patch O'Furr

There’s a New Thing happening in lots of places. (And it doesn’t have to do with baby seals. Yikes!)unleashed

This is how it starts.  Furry social life thrives when friends get together informally – like this 2009 meet in Ottawa.  Ahh… I want to go here!

 Frolic, the original Furry dance party, is a model.  (Check this interview if you don’t know it.)  Frolic founder Neonbunny says:

I think society in general, especially when we have the internet and different ways of finding very specific niche culture- I think subcultures are taking off. People like to party, socialize, and be around each other – and use the internet to find new ways to get together and be together in person, not just on the internet.  The internet makes us feel a little isolated, and we try to balance that by going to these crowded events… It’s changed in the last 10-20 years, and more and more people are seeking these crowds rather than getting away from it all.  It’s why countercultures are thriving. It’s about events. Whether it’s a Furry convention, or Frolic, or other get togethers, it’s about events.

“Furclubbing” is the New Thing that I see becoming a trend since the late 2000’s.  It’s been spreading by furries influencing others to start formal events independent from cons.  This builds on the growth of cons, and takes things farther.

Neonbunny defines it as:  “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries. There’s probably a half dozen events. Then there’s probably been a couple hundred one off furry events done in a bar or other legal (non house) venue.”  As Howl Toronto puts it:  Con dances happen once a year, and “that’s just not enough to fill the need!”

Of course, furries have always gathered for meets, house parties, and cons.  Those can be inner-focused, or gather cliquish friends to only seek each other.  This crosses a line to public space.  A stranger may walk in off the street to discover their new favorite thing.  It encourages new blood and crossover to other scenes.  This is also more established and more frequent than a party that happens once.  It brings partnership with venues that aren’t hotels, who have interest in promoting the kind of events they host and support – beyond non-judgementally renting space to anyone.

Music has a lot to do with it – electronic music.  Why?  Disco and rave had ties to gay club scenes, which encourage subculture.  (Many of these events are at gay bars.  It means they’re supportive, not that furry equals gay – it’s just as much an artist or geek thing. Punk rock was supported at gay bars in early days because nobody else would.)  It’s also full of young people into new stuff.  I’ll leave the topic separate, but you can read more on Anthrocon’s forum: “Furry Rave??”

A good trend doesn’t dilute or exploit what you do – it has authentic passion, led by fans.  This one is infectiously fun and full of hugs – everyone is welcome.  It might be turning Furry from a con-based bubble, into a more active, recognized subculture.

From Howl Toronto.

Howl Toronto.

Check this complete list of independent furry dance parties – The Furclub survey.

The list includes these, and more.  New ones are added every time one starts.

  • Germany’s Cologne FurDance (2008 – now)
  • Frantic Eufuria in Bristol, U.K. (2010 – 2014)
  • San Francisco’s Frolic party (2010 – now)
  • Seattle’s Fur The Record shows (2011 – now)
  • Fox Trot Club in Denver, CO (2011 – now)
  • Baltimore’s Pawz on Pratt (2011 – ?)
  • Furriday in Santa Clara, CA (2013)
  • Howl Toronto (2014 – now)
  • Philadelphia’s Unleashed (2014 – now)
  • Future clubs being planned
  • Honorable mentions: One-offs, annuals, “Fur friendly” events, and crews with a network …anything outside of consistent ones.

Do you know any more to list? Please tell me, and share this article to them!