2022 FREE FUR ALL
September 1st, 2021. A trailer for a new convention was dropped; Free Fur All! An event organized by AWOO Association. Set to take place in Tulsa Oklahoma from July 28 - 29th.
This convention offered furs a chance to step away from political drama and get back to our roots to promote the true spirit of being furry. The special guest, whom we haven’t seen in our fandom for several years was announced to be the one and only 2 The Ranting Gryphon.
FFA was set to promote free speech, freedom of expression and a true escape from the political woes of the world. A place to just have fun and be furry! It showed a lot of potential.
C A N C E L E D
From the start, we’ve all heard the same line; “Just make your own convention!” So, that’s what AWOO did. But no, AWOO couldn’t be left alone.
The cancel culture hate mob (primarily driven by those on Twitter) descended like an angry pack of wolves. They didn’t like the fact a new convention exists where it’s not run by political activists like them. That AWOO put furry first instead of some cringe fringe radical rainbow agenda.
We just want to grill and chill! Is that too much to ask for?
Nothing is ever good enough for these radical wackos. The hatred and vitriol from the cancel culture mob still attacked the con, its staff and message. They doubled down and attempted to destroy what they encouraged should be created. Ironic, right? That’s not what furries should do to each other. This resulted in the planned venue, Tulsa Marriott Southern Hills, dropping the convention because of threats made by the politically motivated psychopaths. They wanted to cancel the event, and almost got away with it.
Correct me if I’m wrong… but I believe this is the ONLY case where a fur con was attacked and cancelled by other furries solely based on political differences.
The irony is that FFA didn’t promote any political agenda, and they got mad about that? Okay then.
For a short while, Free Fur All was homeless. AWOO was not deterred! AWOO was even more motivated to stand up to the radicals and not give up.
We wouldn’t bend the knee to appease these bullies, nor let them cause the convention to fail. Driven by dedication, sacrifice, leadership, and love for furry, AWOO persevered.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later, a new venue was secured, and FFA was back on track! The new home was the Glenpool Convention center. They welcomed AWOO association with open arms, and the con was now set to take place July 29th to July 31st. Free Fur All was a go, and truly, it had become #Uncancelable
——— MY CON EXPERIENCE ———
I planned on going to FFA for quite some time. Quite literally, when it was first announced, I knew I wanted to go. So, I invited some friends to room with me. Our room consisted of myself, Ally , Genesius Wolf, and Magnus Diridian. An incredibly awesome host of chill based furs!
Smol heads in the middle, big heads outside
I wanted to arrive a day early, so I didn’t miss registration. (Ally was to arrive the next morning). We Got situated and what-not, and finally got to meet each other in real life. So that was super cool!
Upon arrival, it was just me and Genesius wolf. We got there around 4pm-ish, and made our way to the con center. When we got in, I was greeted with a warm welcome and hugs from staff, some of which I had never met. But they were very happy to see me! I was humbled when they showed me the poster thanking the founders of the con, which included me! Yay!
Of course, they were still setting up, but I wanted to scope the place out. We toured the main events area, and panel rooms. Gotta say.... what a beautiful location! The Glenpool convention center is used for many events including weddings. The scenery with the lake, waterfall and fountains was very nice!
Thursday night, I went to the connecting room, hosted by a member of con staff, where we had drinks and played a card game similar to Cards Against Humanity. But even more bonkers - if you can believe that! Hahaha, it was awesome!
Our hotel room was really nice too. It had 2 double beds, a pull out sofa, lounge area, microwave, and refrigerator.
——— FRIDAY ———
This was registration! Genesius and I got up a bit early, to make it to the con center. Standing in line wasn’t so bad, just took a little bit to get everything set up.
It was awesome to meet PeaceWolf in real life! Rego opened, and we got our badges and other goodies including a poster, pins, lanyard, etc.
While waiting in line, I saw 2 Gryphon himself! He arrived and was chatting it up with staff and con-goers. 2 and I have worked together before, starring in the “Raiders Rambles” podcast and “Friday night’s alright” with Milo Yiannopoulos.
I’ve been a huge fan of 2 for many years, and to see him in person was pretty cool! After that, we went back to the room, and hung out for a bit. Unpacked some stuff, determined sleeping arrangements, all that. 🙂
——— OPENING CEREMONIES ———
Opening ceremonies were at noon, which of course I was going to attend! The room was packed! Music started, and with poof of smoke from the smog machine, it began. It was cool that the entire staff walked around the room greeting all attendees with high fives and enthusiasm. Made it feel like a triumph!
Foxglove welcomed all of us and went into detail about FFA, and what to expect. He introduced our charity, the Safari Sanctuary. The volunteers of Safari were so thrilled to working with AWOO.
At the end of the opening ceremonies, I was humbled to be thanked by the staff for helping make FFA happen. We had an incredible team, and I’m so glad to have been a part of it.
Everybody's come a long, long way to be here today
After opening ceremonies, we went back to the room because my other roommates Ally and Magnus were supposed to be arriving soon.
It was about this time, where I started to feel unwell due to personal health issues, I had to take some time to chill. As I was in the room, Magnus arrived, followed by Ally. It was so cool to see both of them in person after all this time! Ally got her stuff and settled in. Sadly, I was still feeling sick at around 1 pm-ish.
Around 3pm I was starting to feel well enough to go suiting for a bit. We embarked from our room and took some epic pictures in the ball pit. Yes, THE Ball Pit!
Truly the ball pit of American Awesomeness! The reactions were priceless!
——— SATURDAY ———
I was still feeling not so well in the morning, but symptoms finally started to subside. Saturday was the big day! Soooo much stuff going on. In the morning, my friends and I enjoyed the complimentary breakfast provided by the hotel. Met some cool people in the hotel lobby. Afterwards, We went back to the room, to get ready for the fursuit parade and group photo! It was raining, but thankfully the hotel is right next to the con center, so it wasn’t too concerning.
We gathered in the main hall for the parade, about a half hour before it started. During that time, I was able to catch up with friends, and meet some new ones!
At 12pm the parade began! I was somewhat in the middle, right behind Ally, and Genesius Wolf. It was a smaller parade, but this being FFA’s first year and all the backlash this con got - it’s impressive! There were over 40 fursuiters.
After the parade, we all gathered to take a group photo!
Presenting the heroes of Free Fur All 2022!
Afterwards, we took some pictures, while others went to the headless lounge to cool off. It was really cool to be in the front row of the group photo! After the parade, I wanted to go back to my room and change. Take a quick shower, then get ready for my performance later!
IT'S PEACEWOLF HERSELF!
——— FURIETY SHOW ———
The Furiety show wasn’t really a competition, just a fun event where anyone could do what they wanted. Took place from 3pm to 5pm.
We had fursuit dancers, musicians, and more, including PeaceWolf delving into her work as a talented animator.
Just to back up a bit, I didn’t know how this would go. I had a panel to run at 5pm, literally right after the Furiety show. Understanding that; the staff let me go first in the Furiety show so I wouldn’t be totally exhausted right before my panel at 5.
I have never performed in front of people before, except for public speaking. I always wanted to be in a fursuit dance competition. I am, however, not a professional dancer. So take the choreography for what it is. I’ve always loved watching those fursuit dance videos and in person, so I thought I’d try it out.
I decided to do a fursuit dance to Bangarang, by Skrillex! I actually practiced my routine several times beforehand. Lol, I got really into it. And the performance went great! I totally nailed it!
You rock that stage, orange doggo!
Towards the end however, I became overheated. Was hyperventilating and feeling lightheaded. But I couldn’t stop in the middle of it to take my head off to cool down. No, I powered through! Right after, I headed for the door to get some water and cool off. As I was approaching the door, I actually passed out from heat exhaustion. I am very thankful for the staff members who caught me and helped guide me to the headless lounge.
Thank goodness this didn’t happen in front of anyone, or in the middle of the performance. (Could you imagine… how embarrassing and sad that would that have been?!)
After I had sufficient water, I came back a few minutes later to watch more of the Furiety show. Behawolf was on next, and he did an awesome job! He was the only other Fursuit dancer, and he totally nailed his songs. The last one he did really got the crowd excited! PeaceWolf was also featured in the Furiety show, where she played us some of her vintage animations. Really cool stuff!
I couldn’t stay until the very end, because I had to get back to my room, drop my suit off, and prepare for my panel; “No More Politics!” At 5 pm.
——— NO MORE POLITICS PANEL ———
This panel hosted by me was about the changes in the fandom observed over the last few years and discusses how it came to be this way. Primarily, I talked about how we need to separate furry fandom from politics. Cancel culture, and the hate mob hive mind.
** Remember: They tried to cancel FFA based solely on their warped sense of political radical activism.
The whole idea is furry is supposed to be an escape from the human world. That’s how it’s always been (until recently.) FFA is a convention based on this very idea, of not pushing and agenda and just have fun. Like how furcons used to be.
About 45-50 people attended the panel, which was a lot more than expected!
Always loved public speaking, and I hope I conveyed a positive message of hope for the future of the fandom.
——— GUEST OF HONOR DINNER ———
My panel ran until about 5:45. That leaves 15 mins until the Guest of Honor dinner at 6pm. You’d have to pay a bit extra for this, but I’d estimate almost half the con was there. I found a table with some friends and waited for it to start. Before the catering arrived, PeaceWolf gave a welcoming speech. She wore an elegant dress and was glowing with enthusiasm.
Catering arrived, serving rice, salad, steamed vegetables, chicken, and several pasta salads (I’m not sure if it was Italian or not) but everything was really good. Loved the pepper and onions. While at my table, I commissioned a badge from of the dealers. Came out reaaallyy nice!
Later that night, went to some panels including the inflatables, and the snake panel! Safari Sanctuary brought many of their rescued animals including a giant tortoise, lizards, and snakes! The nightly dance was nice. My roommates and I suited up and went down the con center. After about 12 am (I think?) the con center was closed for the night.
Well, this certainly beats a trip to Hawaii
Coming back to our room, we had some food, drinks and were content to wander the halls of the hotel looking to find the nearest party. Hah, it was pretty easy. We just had to follow the sounds of music and rambunctious laughter. Seemed like other furs had the same idea, because we weren’t the only ones who did this. It was pretty awesome we could all just come together and chill.
——— SUNDAY ———
Last day of the con! Staff had set up tables for a silent auction. A plethora of items were available including a Star Trek visual dictionary, eagle blanket, prints and art work, and even retro con books from before 2010. That was going on all day until closing ceremonies.
The first thing on Sunday at 8am, I went to Foxglove’s “Canceling Cancel Culture” panel. His presentation was articulate and really interesting. Explained how and why this sorta thing happens in the fandom and what we can do when faced with such an attack.
Charity auction was next. Dru and the staff kept the energy flowing and audience engaged. People got into bidding wars and were very generous. I think my favorite moment was when a rare beanie baby Eagle was up for auction. It started at $15, so I bid $17.76, because ‘Murica! And everyone else jumped in with other historic American dates, like $18.12, (war of 1812), $18.61 (civil war), $19.14… ect. Loved how we all sorta played along with that. We eventually ran out of dates, and I think someone got him for 25-50. There was one main thing I wanted, which was the cons’ welcome banner. I may have overbid a little, but it was totally worth it! All the others were up for auction too, and they all sold out.
FFA’s charity goal was $3,000. That goal was surpassed by more than two times! It was advertised that if they hit that goal, con chair PeaceWolf, and Guest of Honor 2 would get pied in the face. It was pretty smart how they did it, where any audience member could bid to do so. Wound up being a few hundred dollars for each one. And these weren’t just whipped cream on a plate. It was an actual pastry topped with a bunch of whipped cream.
After that was over, the final number was $8,008.50. FAR beyond anything staff could have hoped for, or what people thought was possible. It all went to a great cause; rescue and caring for animals.
Hope you like that pie to the face, 2!
As closing ceremonies came to an end, the teaser trailer for next years’ FFA was announced! The animation was created by the talented Jasonafex, Kabier who were also announced to be next year’s Guests of Honor. I can’t wait to see all the incredible art and promotional stuff they will be working on for 2023.
As night fell, my friends and I got some dinner, then did some more fursuiting. Got some great photos! Later, we watched a movie with some people in the hotel room. Lastly, I attended the FFA staff party. Complete with games, complimentary drinks and food. It was getting pretty late, so I headed off to sleep to catch my flight in the morning.
——— CONCLUSION ———
The controversy regarding FFA was completely unnecessary. It was hit with a cacophony of slander, personal attacks, harassment and cyber bullying. Threats and blocklists were made by angry people with too much time on their hands, and too much hatred in their hearts. Yet despite all the threats and against all odds - FFA succeeded!
Finally, this is a con not dictated by those with fringe ideology being jammed down our throats. It was a place to chill and just be furry. You don’t have to walk on eggshells or be too afraid to speak your mind out of fear of getting harassed.
I have no problem discussing things, but the problem is when leaders in the furry community (con chairs, famous artists, influencers, etc) use their platform to push an agenda. And they will ostracize anyone who dares speak against them. This is what they tried to do and are still trying to do.
But it’s a losing battle. Free Fur all persevered! I’m so thankful to have helped be a part of making this vision a reality. It was incredible getting to meet so many people. I’ll always cherish my memories at Free Fur All.
See you again in 2023! Awoooooo!
We all out here, just vibing
- 207 attendees
- $8008.50 raised for charity (with a goal of $3,000)
- ~ 40 fursuiters (about 20% of total attendees)
What Free Fur All had compared to other mainstream furry conventions:
- 0 Arrests
- 0 Hospitalizations
- 0 Sexual Assaults
- 0 Animal Abuse
- 0 Violence
- 0 Drug Problems
- 0 Diapers
- 0 Property Damage
- 0 SJWs
FFA is probably the safest and least problematic event compared to all other furcons. Can’t beat these numbers!
- - - - - - Aeveirra Nova
——— EDITOR'S NOTE ———
It is my hope that the courage of the AWOO Association and the attendees of Free Fur All 2022 leaves you inspired to stand up against the fear, ridicule and threats propagated by the politically charged furry crowd. All involved in the making of this event deserve to be commended for daring to take a risk and standing firm in the face of cancellation. My eternal thanks go to the AWOO Association and the Furry Raiders present at the convention.
The saga of Free Fur All 2022 spanned some years in the making. The Furry Raiders were quite fortunate for the opportunity of having PeaceWolf as a special guest on our podcast, the Raiders Rambles. You can listen to Episode 144 – “A Peaceful Stream” here.
To relive this triumph, you can listen to episode 195 of the Raiders Rambles, #Uncancelable here. In the voices of our heroes who attended, we take you with us to experience the convention that defied every furry and their mothers.