COVID-19 Report: Furry Migration

As things begin to reopen, others close Furry Migration, which takes place in Minneapolis, Minnesota in September, has been postponed to 2021.

In an official press release

FURRY MIGRATION 2020 POSTPONED TO 2021

 Sunday, June 21, 2020


WHY HAS THE 2020 FURRY MIGRATION CONVENTION BEEN POSTPONED?

This was by far the most crucial and heart wrenching decision that our Convention Chairmen have had to make in Furry Migration’s history. We have spent the last few months looking at the situation and have determined to keep our attendees and our staff safe during Covid-19.

Furry Migration brings people from all over the United States and beyond to one location.  We can’t take the risk of one individual spreading any illness to others, thereby spreading it further once they are home with their loved ones.  It is with these thoughts in mind Furry Migration 2020 has been postponed to 2021.  The dates for 2021 will be: Sept. 10th to 12th 2021

WHY COULDN’T WE WAIT TO DECIDE?

In a typical year, preparing for an event the scale and scope of the Furry Migration is a year-round operation and a large undertaking by all of the staff, dealers, panelists, attendees and volunteers. While many of us have been able to pause some things over the past two months, we can’t hold off any longer. We are getting to the time where equipment rentals, publishing expenses and other convention expenses and contracts are needing to be finalized.

While we don’t know what the future holds, we have to make some tough decisions with the information we have today.  It is our intention to have a great many more years for Furry Migration to grow and flourish.  If we move forward with contracts and decisions that we are unable to undo it very well could put the financial ability to have future conventions in jeopardy.  In the same view we can not make promises we cannot uphold to our vendors, dealers and attendees.

DID YOU CONSIDER MODIFYING THE CONVENTION BY LIMITING ATTENDANCE OR INSTITUTING SOCIAL DISTANCE GUIDELINES?

Furry Migration Convention Chairmen explored countless potential scenarios that would not impact the convention.  We determined that first, these were not feasible and, second, a convention under these severe restrictions is not the type of experience we want to provide.

Here are some of the things we had trouble imagining: social distancing in the registration line, panel attendance capped based on the room size and amount of chairs, the local restaurants and entertainment establishments unable to serve the influx of attendees, limiting people inside the dealers den, managing lines for the dance competition, dances, opening and closing ceremonies, social distancing in social spaces and in the hallways.

As for limiting attendance this is something we can not financially do.  The convention does have financial obligations (bills) to pay and costs to cover to pull off a convention.  It would be an unwise move to limit the attendance, thereby needing to raise our rates to cover the deficit.

WHO MADE THE DECISION TO POSTPONE THE CONVENTION THIS YEAR?

This decision was made by a unanimous decision by the current Convention Chairmen of 2020.  It was a decision that we would never have dreamed of making, but feel it is the best decision to have a 2021, 2022 and beyond.

We initially announced we would be on track for 2020 earlier on in the year.  With the facts related to Covid-19 earlier in the year it appeared we could make 2020 a realaility.  As time went on, the outcome looked bleaker and bleaker until we came to the very difficult decision to postpone 2020.

HOW WILL FURRY MIGRATION SURVIVE WITHOUT 2020 CONVENTION REVENUE?

We will have ongoing costs throughout the year but we have looked at our finances and will be able to weather a year without Furry Migration.  There is no doubt that we will face challenges, like every business and organization enduring this crisis.  We could not do it without the help of our 100% volunteer staff.  That alone is the biggest help we have.  The Chairmen can not thank everyone enough for their hard work and dedication to Furry Migration.

I ALREADY PURCHASED A MEMBERSHIP FOR 2020. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

There are multiple options available to you if you have already purchased a membership for 2020.  You can pick from one of the options below:

  1. Donate your membership for 2020 – If you are able to financially donate your membership to Furry Migration we would be grateful for your support.  Please send us your legal name and email address used to register to registration@furrymigration.org with your intent to donate your membership.  Thank you!
  2. Roll-Over to 2021 – You can let your membership for 2020 roll over to 2021.  If this is your choice no additional work is needed to be done.
  3. Refund – We understand people are facing some tough times during Covid-19.  You can request a full refund for your 2020 membership by emailing your legal name and email address used to register to registration@furrymigration.org.  We will work with you to get your refund as quickly as possible.

I HAVE A RESERVATION IN THE FURRY MIGRATION ROOM BLOCK. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Due to hotel policy the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis is unable to transfer your room to the 2021 room block for Furry Migration.  The current plan is to have the hotel cancel room reservations in the Furry Migration room block.  No action is required from the person who reserved the room.  You will receive a cancellation notice from the Hyatt in the coming weeks.

If you have reserved a room outside of the room block you will need to contact the hotel to cancel your reservation.  There will be no fees or penalties for canceling your reservation.

If you wish to keep your reservation you can contact the hotel and re-book at the standard room rate.  We plan on opening the Furry Migration 2021 room block late 2020 or early 2021.  Keep an eye on our social media accounts later on in the year.

Hyatt Reservations phone number: 1 (888) 591-1234

Please have your reservation confirmation number ready when calling.

HOW CAN I STILL SUPPORT FURRY MIGRATION?

A year without a convention will present challenges. If you’d like to support Furry Migration with a financial donation, you can do so at the following link: https://www.furrymigration.org/donations/  Thank you for your generosity!

IN CONCLUSION

We understand this is a tough decision to be made under tough times.  From the Chairmen of Furry Migration we wish everyone to stay safe and healthy for now and in the future!

Kevin “Legonnare” McCarty

Matt “Aerak” Hibbard

Keith “Vulan” Ellis

Chairmen of Furry Migration