Suit Up Saturday – Minnesota’s Furry Club night gives a Q&A for the Furclub Survey.
by Patch O'Furr
Furclubbing: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.” It’s a New Thing that’s been spreading since the late 2000’s. This kind of dance party is independent from cons. This builds on the growth of cons, and takes things farther. It’s more ambitious than events that happen once, house parties, or informal meets. Those can stay inner-focused for friends who already know each other. This brings partnership with new kinds of venues, and new supportive interest in the kind of events they host. It 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. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!
See the list of parties at The Furclub survey. Any party that gives a Q&A will get a featured article. Featured here is a new event in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s yet another one inspired by Frolic in San Francisco, the seed for many new ones across the USA. Organizer Rachel introduces the party:
Suit Up Saturday (2016)
- Website: www.suitupsaturday.com
- Twitter: @suitupsaturday – “Minnesota’s First and Only FURRY Club Night”
- Facebook: fan page
- See also MNFurs on Facebook
My name is Rachel, that’s my real name and furry name too. I’ve been a furry for about 15 years now, and I recently moved back to Minnesota from San Francisco, where I lived for 10 years and went to college. When in San Francisco I frequently went to FROLIC, which is run by some friends of mine, and I began to miss it.
While Minnesota has an amazing team running all the PG, all ages events (mnfurs.org, and DRAKE in particular)… There was nothing serving the adult, kink or 18+ community. Up until that point, any kinky or adult events were held in private homes or we would loosely organize a bar event. Even so, events were sporadic and lightly attended, as there wasn’t even a good way for kinky furs to even connect with each other in this state.
At my current job I do club promotions and events occasionally, so I had a few contacts. I picked a bar that most reminded me of the STUD in San Francisco (where Frolic happens every month), a bar called the EagleBolt here in Minneapolis. I spoke with the owner and manager and they allowed us to throw a trial basis party on January 31st. If that went well, they would be willing to host us every 5th saturday, or more.
The run up to the party was nerve wracking. I decided immediately that I didn’t want to do it alone so I brought Cam, DJ, Mau and AJ on as partners. The five of us consist of Suit Up Saturday. They were a huge amount of help as they consist of graphic designers, web designers and a logo designer, as well as people that have deep roots in the kink and fur community.
I also got help from K0mplex, the guys at Frolic, and the Disaster Dogs in Seattle before they disbanded. We had DJ Caz and Dj Othenio spin, two local furry DJs.
Furs around the country have been really nice about giving me advice and helping this event come together. We got a website and twitter account up, added a facebook event and fan page, and printed fliers. We handed out fliers at fur meets, told EVERYONE we know and posted about our event on every furry page we could find. We also put an ad up on FurAffinity. We basically did everything we could to get the word out.
We also talked to some local and some far away people for sponsorship, and we regularly raffle off fur and kink items. Some of our best sponsors have been Bondesque, Leather and Latte, and our favorite, the Dogs BolloxX in London. They sent us a giant box of swag to give away at events. Its’s been a fun way to connect with other furs and furry businesses.
For our first party, people were excited, but also hesitant. There were some local furs who were upset with the idea that we were throwing an adult party. People were saying that we would ‘ruin’ furry by making it adult, and that the local scene had tried really hard to make fur not a ‘fetish’ and were trying to be mainstream.
Well, we disagreed. We wanted just ONE space where furs could come and be ANY type of fur they wanted. There was a huge misconception- people assumed that because we were kink friendly that it was going to be some kind of crazy, sex fueled naked BDSM party. I wish! Nope, we were just a club event, with normal club rules. Some people came in fetishwear, but most people came in fursuits. Plenty of people came in regular clubwear. Our point was, anything you wanted to be was fine. We have no judgements. We got some of the local pup boys from the local kennel club to show up and they loved us! They were so happy to meet a different kind of ‘pup’ and that made me ridiculously happy, At our last party we even had the local leather sir show up. My goal was to bring different types of people together with furs- and it worked.
The fur community can become so insulated from the rest of the world- but I wanted to show furries that plenty of people like our vibe and want to party with us, and we should let them!
The vibe, as the bar owner described it, was ‘high energy’ and happy. Lots of dancing, a bit of drinking, and people meeting new people left and right. We filled the bar to 3/4 capacity, which exceed our goals. After the first party the kennel club decided they loved us, so now we have a decent mix of pup boys, rubber pups, and kinksters who join us for our parties. It’s still mostly furries, but it’s maybe the only event in MN that specifically invites other groups to furry events.
Some furs, of course, have told me they will ‘never’ come to a bar, never come to something even loosely related to kink, and they haven’t, even though they might dance the hardest at a con dance. That’s ok. I’m not trying to push anything on anyone, and if you don’t want to expand your mind that’s too bad for you. Suit Up Saturday has been an awesome adult experience and we’ve had people drive in regularly from several states away. We are clearly filling a need in the fur community, and we plan on continuing the party for as long as people will have us.
As far as profit, we’re not really concerned with it. We of course, do charge a little bit at the door ($5 in fursuit or fetishwear, $7 everyone else) but we have to get flyers printed, pay our DJs, and stuff like that. Our last two events were profitable, but if you split it 5 ways we’d probably make about $2 an hour for the work we did. We’ve decided not to ‘pay’ ourselves, but to keep the money in a pot, so we can use it in the near future for a bigger and better event.
We are tentatively considering doing a furry camping event, and we’re also trying to find a venue that will let us keep the kink but have an 18+ crowd instead of a 21+ crowd . We’ve already branched out to other types of events with a Zootopia showing. Our goal is to expand the frequency and types of events we do. We get some help from some from the guys at MNFURS which has been great. Our Zootopia showing was done in conjunction with them and it went great.
The next party is on July 31st, and it’s set to be even better than the last. We’ve got a 5 screen video bar, a list of DJs who want to spin, furry drink specials, giveaways, photo booths, and more! If you like to party and want to let your furry freak flag fly, you should definitely come by. 🙂
Credits for pics go to CAM and Rachel.
And if I can recommend, check out www.thedogsbolloxX.co.uk. They have a great story right now about their owner FELIX being banned from local fur meets because people there don’t think the kink community should mix with furs.
Since Rachel sent this introduction, Suit Up Saturday gained a new 18+ venue for their next party on July 23.