Galactic Camp sets record with 742 furries, a San Francisco Bay warship and a Soviet time traveler

by Patch O'Furr

“A breathtaking view of the San Francisco skyline from the deck of the USS Hornet at Galactic Camp. Featuring the extra fluffy Bandit Raccoon” – Muffle the Fox. (Previous story: A furry con takes flight on the USS Hornet, Feb 23, 2019)

Galactic Camp showed how nobody has weird fun like furries.

Photo by Orzel

Lucky Fox (Udachny Lisa), a 1970’s Soviet Podpolkovnik (Lieutenant-Colonel), was traveling through time on a mission to explore the future of fully automated luxury gay space communism. Unfortunately, due to budget shortages, his time machine was missing a few pieces. When he arrived, instead of seeing moon communes, he was astonished to be on The USS Hornet aircraft carrier surrounded by rainbow animal-people.

The future was a silly place. But Comrade Lucky Fox wouldn’t abandon his mission. It was time to sample alcoholic beverage drinks and dance for science and the glory of workers. (Worry to Glorkers!)

The uniformed time traveler made a furry party on a warship even weirder. But to those who already know him, he’s loved for running 10 years of “The Communist Party” annually at the Further Confusion convention in San Jose CA. (His party isn’t for politics… it’s for themed celebration of culture and donating to a Russian LGBT charity.) He was happy to do a Q&A about it below.

Mixing weird ingredients makes incredible events, and that’s why furry activity is steadily growing.

Galactic Camp set a record for biggest one-night event ever in furry fandom.

The furries who danced with Lucky Fox totaled 742 (corrected for double-counting of ticket upgrades and staffers.) Attendance of 742 sets a fandom record, according to some who helped make it happen.

For a 1 night event… That’s pretty much the biggest thing globally in its timeframe class within the fandom! (I mean correct me if I’m wrong!) This could push 1.3-1.5k at this rate next time around. – Loc0

It was independently built with local support and inter-fandom talent. That doesn’t just fall from the sky. The talent, resources and connections, and base of enthusiastic attendees came from many years of growing local furry subculture. That’s often thanks to fandom organizers like Lucky Fox, and Galactic Camp’s DJ’s like Neonbunny, organizer of Frolic (“the original furry dance party”) and Cosmo Coyote (who organizes Northern California furry dances). Security was by FLARE (who do Further Confusion). They made things run smoothly with the community they knew well, winning respect from veteran volunteers who operate the USS Hornet, who may have never seen furries before.

Nacho Husky, organizer of Galactic Camp, was asked about the most interesting part of the event. “Definitely the venue,” he said – “the fandom has never done an event on a ship like this, and I hope we get more new and different ideas for how to do them.”

The USS Hornet is docked across the bay from San Francisco, on a closed naval base in Alameda CA (the same place Mythbusters uses for experimenting.)  It’s a fearsome wedge of metal bigger than most city blocks, decommissioned in 1970 and opened in 1998 as a national historic landmark and nonprofit museum. Planes and artifacts from WWII to the Apollo Space Program fill the hangar deck, as well as war photos that can make anyone feel humble about history.

As Lucky Fox learned, a furry party on a warship is the cutting edge of turning swords into plowshares.

Lucky Fox’s learnings at Galactic Camp, and his story of how The Communist Party grew for 10 years. (Follow them on Twitter.)

(Patch:) Do you have any stories of communist uniform wearing on the USS Hornet?

(Lucky Fox:) I was pretty gone and just had fun. Some of the vets would just give me stink eye, but some guy wearing a flight suit and a hat from the carrier came up and said the uniform was nice and good job.

Midway through the night, a friend was musing on his Navy career, and how it’s absolutely ridiculous that he can be out of uniform, drinking a cocktail on a former US Navy aircraft carrier. It was just such a clash of cultures to have an off duty Navy sailor and an LGBT guy in a Soviet uniform hanging out on the deck, drinking while watching fursuiters dance to electronic music.  It made me really hopeful for progress, that in the span of 74 years, it can go from an active weapon of war to this.

Tell me more about what you wore, why it’s fun, and the party you run at Further Confusion? 

I wear a 1970’s era Soviet Podpolkovnik (Lieutenant-Colonel) of the Medical Corps. I’ve got medals from the victory over Germany in WW2, 250th anniversary of Leningrad, a veteran worker’s medal, and one that we had designed and made for the 10th year of our party. I’ve got a Soyuz-Apollo mission pin, eternal flame of WW2 pin, blood donor of the USSR, Chernobyl first responder’s medal, and an authentic Soviet McDonald’s medal to commemorate the first McDonald’s in Moscow in 1990. I’ve always been into Soviet history, re-enacting and military surplus, and most of my attention when I’m not doing furry stuff goes to post apocalyptic things (hence Lucky the Atomic Fox).

We’ve been doing the Communist Party for 10 years, which started as an off-handed idea back when FC was at the Doubletree. My friend’s roomies had thrown a party and they weren’t throwing one the next night so we took over. That night we went to buy vodka, beets, cabbage, I made a playlist on my laptop, and we hosted a little podunk thing. It’s kind of evolved over the years to just try to be a parody representation of Soviet/Communist State themes, and we’re currently in the process of making “The Communist Party” a non-profit corporation so we can give to charity more easily. We always support the charity the convention chooses, and give an equal amount of proceeds to the Russian LGBT network.

It’s as much of a hobby as cosplay, reenactment and living history, mixed together. We always play up a good stereotype, but we really do respect and appreciate Eastern European culture, and the music. The Iron Curtain squeezed a lot of creativity out of nothing, and some really fabulous sounds came out of state censorship. There’s fantastic music if you go searching, a lot of really cool experimental stuff came out of the Soviet Union in the 70’s and 80’s. And Soviet type of humor is often brutalist and black. We try to keep all of that alive, give money to those who need it now to escape the oppressive culture still going on in Russia and the former Soviet states, and most importantly have fun.

In early 2020 Galactic Camp will return for a third party, and the 11th Communist Party will return to Further Confusion. Make furry weirder!

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