On stage with CHVRCHES and more great times with the San Francisco Bay Area Furries.
by Patch O'Furr
At a recent show by the band CHVRCHES, fursuiters in the audience were invited on stage. Berkeley’s Daily Californian praised the spontaneity of the show: Furries, fans unite at CHVRCHES performance at Fox Theatre.
Lauren Mayberry, the band’s frontwoman, told the audience: “If the republicans get into office, this sh!t won’t fly!”
It was all a surprise. Some of the Bay Area Furries were there just as fans, with no plan to participate on stage. But they’re not shy about sharing the spotlight that way. It happens often, like in July 2015: Fursuiters were kings at Andrew WK’s Pizza Party in San Francisco.
It comes from a subculture at it’s most fertile. It’s because they’re in Furry Mecca, and 2016 is the Year of Furry, and these fans make effort like no others to spread the love. If you’re feeling sad or afraid, or negative or worried about the world, bring furries to make it better.
Here’s full videos of the surprise fursuiting with CHVRCHES.
This activity keeps growing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously in “Bay Area Furs find out why there should be a Furry award for Best Journalism” – The Daily Dot journalist Whitney Kimball visited and put out this article – How the furry community rallied when Zarafa Giraffe lost his head. Furries in the story loved the thoughtful, positive coverage about what they do.
There have always been many reasons for the Bay Area to be “Furry Mecca”. Look at the history and activity:
- It’s a place that the media treats as a “hotbed” of Furry subculture, with “the world’s greatest concentration of furries per square mile” according to Wikifur.
- Wikifur names Silicon Valley as a source for early online fandom. Even earlier, the Bay Area was the source for ‘zines that Fred Patten called “the earliest generally available publication in furry fandom” ,and “The most famous and successful furry magazine”. It helped scattered fans to grow their own community.
- BayCon helped to spawn the first Furry con (ConFurence) organized by Mark Merlino and Rod O’Riley. “May, 1987: Merlino established BayCon as the center of activity for Furfans to gather. There was a large, and growing, contingent of Furry fans at this, and the next two, Baycons. The non-furry guests grew increasingly hostile at this ‘take over’…”
- Now, the Bay Area is home for activities like “the original furry dance party” (Frolic) which helped to spawn an entire movement of independent Furry dance parties across North America.
Frolic is where Spottacus met Whitney Kimball for her article in The Daily Dot. He shared his opinion to her:
‘This is wonderful… it sets the right tone, weaves several threads into a great story with exactly the right feeling, and captures the essence of what is going on inside the head inside the fursuit. You really brought the different threads together, and it worked really well. I really like how you incorporated transformative aspects into both our furry and human lives, how you HEARD the tears in Zarafa’s voice when he described the community’s responses, and breaking the 4th wall when you put on my fursuit, and the observer became the subject. Articles like not only really help the fur community, but they help anyone going through life-changing, transformative experiences.
Last week, a few furfriends and I got invited onstage with CHVRCHES on their way to Coachella. Here’s the video.
And a few furfriends were asked to join a Dandy Warhols’ video shoot in February, after they saw us fursuiting. The video was released a few weeks ago. Storyline is a down and out writer working and drinking in a fleabag hotel drinks, falls, strikes his head at a bar (at 1:50) and has a hallucinatory fugue in which he sees only furries (2:00 to 2:30). I’m the glowy-eyed Ocelot in the stair scene toward the end…”
More thoughts about all of this happened in a blog post by the proprietor of DNA Lounge. It’s a night life destination for some of the biggest parties in San Francisco, and a venue for Frolic shows.
The club owner saw furries in a costume contest, and complained that others weren’t showing the effort:
There were also several full-body-suit furries who entered (it was furry night in Above) and nobody even cheered: you could hear a pin drop. I mean, I can kind of understand them not winning outright, because furries kind of all look the same (is that racist? That kind of sounds racist) but still, effort was expended. Even wearing one of those things is an ordeal.
Dr. Kingfish has a theory, that I find hard to counter, that these days “trying” must be a thing that is commonly considered to be uncool. People flock to these semi-crowdsourced events that offer nothing but “participation”, so long as that participation takes zero effort — the kind of Special Olympics where you get a prize just for showing up, like pillow fights and lightsaber battles. If participation means wearing a trivially simple uniform and leaving a mess for someone else to clean up, people are all in. But if participation means you had to actually try, oh, no way, forget about it. “Trying” isn’t done.
This used to be a town that treasured its costumery…
Here’s Neonbunny, promoter of Frolic:
Furries are the unapologetically enthusiastic antidote to apathy and lack of effort. They’re all about caring. Wherever you see them, out of costume or in full regalia, you’re going to have a good time.