Furrylah 2016- Singapore Furry Convention by the Singapore River
A uniquely Singapore Furry convention by the most prominent river in Singapore
Furrylah started out in Singapore as means for Furries in Singapore alike to come together through an annual event representing the country, it’s also the first furry convention in Singapore and is open to all local and foreign attendees. The Singapore convention ran over the weekend from 25th to 27th November 2016 in downtown Singapore.
Quarters Hostel was the convention venue this year- a contemporary hostel situated in a 5-foot walkway shophouse by the heart of the Singapore River- Boat Quay, and was completely booked-out for the event. It is conveniently and centrally located, well-served by public transport, with Clark Quay and Raffles place subway stations both a 5 minute and 15 minute walk away respectively.
The convention started on Friday afternoon with registrations with the opening ceremonies, followed by evening ice breakers with many of the attendees both young and old meeting each other for the first time. The convention stuck to a rather informal gathering style which integrates even the most introverted of attendees through introductions and get-together events- something which the staff did a really good job in ensuring no-one gets left out.
Attendees were also spoilt for food choices in the area with a BBQ Gyro feast at the nearby Gyromania for the convention dinner get-together on the first day. There were several eating houses just across the street which opens till 5am daily, restaurants and bars along the entire boat quay.
A number of attendees were accompanied by their parents, which was the recommended convention arrangement for those below 18 years of age. The parents were delighted by the friendly convention atmosphere, and with the guidance of the exco, they got first hand experiences of the furry fandom.
Education about the furry fandom, is one that the Furrylah organising committee feels strongly about, the parents had the opportunity to chat and learn about the world their children are so fascinated by. We were surprised that by the second day, the parents, knowing that their children will be in good hands, allowed them to even attend the convention by themselves!
The second day of the convention (Saturday) was where most of the action happens. Starting out with the morning fursuit walk along the Singapore river up to the Merlion park, allowing attendees to soak up on the historical and one of the most scenic sights for a uniquely Singapore fursuit walk. Convention panels with tip talks given by veteran con-goers in the “Your first furcon panel” as well as Art panels hosted by Creative Paw Pads (CPP) and Fursuiting panels by our veteran Fursuiter Vee. There was free pizza for that evening followed by games night and late night supper hunt at the eateries around the area.
I found the concept of a Furcon in a hostel refreshing and, coupled with good rapport built with the hostel management, who were open to the convention concept and were dearly over the fursuits when they appeared at the hostel lobby. The convention booked out the entire hostel, with accommodations catered for everybody attending the convention. As the hostel was situated in a refurbished shop house, and was clean and homely. But the venue was pretty small, and get rather cramped at times, at peak attendance of about 25 attendees by midday on Saturday, there were barely enough seats for all.
Having attended last year’s convention at Bayview hotel, I found the convention this year to be very special, despite a smaller attendee count. There were many new faces and talent too, such a fuzzballs into singing, face painting and videography. Returning attendees felt it was better more cohesive and cozy, the organizing committee experiment on a hostel setting gave the convention a more conducive village feel, greatly aiding to attendee ice breakers. No attendees were left out and there is this comradery I’ve not seen in the local fandom. With Furrylah 2016 a success and down in the history books, plans for Furrylah 2017 are definitely on that way.
See you next year!
Article contributed by Gyro Wolf, who is a staff volunteer at Furrylah, a Furry Convention in Singapore. The views expressed here are solely his own.