DenFur ’21 Review!

Hello fuzzbutts!

I had a few days to stew and relax since DenFur. I wanted to think over some of the things that happened, what was offered, the con space, all that good stuff. So now it’s time to run through it.

The Hotel:

The convention took place at the downtown Sheraton in Denver, CO. It was about 40 minutes away from the airport. The rooms were comfortably sized since I had a single king bed and friends had double-queen bedrooms. The room could have benefitted from a dresser to organize things rather than a single drawer in the room. Still, they provided water, coffee, and all the standards for a hotel. The bathroom was lovely but used a sliding door without any lock. So if you want privacy from your roommates, it might be a thing. The hotel did have a pool on the 5th floor and the view was alright from my spot on the 6th floor. That being said, the hotel is in the downtown area and Denver seems to be suffering from a rather significant homeless problem in the area even around the hotel. The hotel has no food with room service but the street level did have 2 great restaurants and bars which were reasonably priced, especially given the fact it was in a hotel.

The Con Size:

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this convention. This is one of the first furry conventions since the end of the COVID lockdowns so I felt furries might still be staying away or might be stir crazy to get out and see old friends (like me). Also I never heard of DenFur being an especially large con and only chose to go because I had friends going as well. The con attendance was a bit under 2700 furries so it was pretty darn big. The convention floor was just below the lobby and had plenty of space. There were numerous panel rooms and the nightly dances had plenty of space for everyone to have fun.

The Con Setup:

So, being one of the first furry cons since the pandemic, the management at DenFur took extra care. Despite the county stating that masks were only required indoors if unvaccinated, the con required attendants to wear masks in the con space. If you were in the hotel, you didn’t have to. On top of the masks, DenFur required all attendees to verify their vaccination status through official channels like the state registries or by having the actual cards with you. There was a very unfortunate trade-off by requiring this extra layer of verification, however. The registration lines were absolutely horrendous! I arrived the night before the con and got into line at 8PM and didn’t get my registration until 11PM. It was even worse for those who showed up on Friday, the first day of the con. Posts on Twitter revealed complaints of people waiting anywhere from 4.5-6.5 hours in the single registration line! I assume some of this is due to people reaching the front of the line and not having the correct paperwork but when I had gotten to the front, I had everything immediately ready. I’ll err a little generously and say it only took 2 minutes once I reached the volunteer at the front desk. With five desks open, that’s 5 people every 2 minutes if everything is smooth. With 2700 people in total, that’s 540 minutes or a total of 9 hours IF EVERYONE HAS EVERYTHING IN ORDER. I could easily see a single attendee taking longer than 10 minutes if they didn’t have the proper record (i.e. copies or pictures of it were not allowed). If any other conventions are going to be performing these screenings, I hope they learn from the errors made here as there was plenty of talk about people missing panels on the first day because they couldn’t get through registration.

The Con Stuff:

They did provide free printed face masks which was a really nice touch. I did notice the con space did seem to be colder than the rest of the hotel and that made it much easier to fursuit around and have fun! I’m already not much of furry who goes to panels but the selection that was being offered didn’t really interest me at all. Every night, it was nice to try out the variety of DJs playing sets in the dance hall. The main con space is an open area which has an artist alley. The tables in the alley were mostly open and it didn’t seem terribly convenient. I would have preferred tighter spacing for the artist alley but I understand why they spaced them out. The dealer’s den wasn’t particularly huge but it did have a lot of vendors. If you’re interested in the 18+ area, it was only 3 tables in a small room so it took all of 2 minutes to browse the wares.

Overall:

I enjoyed DenFur. Tons of fursuits and quality time with friends in a lovely hotel. It was nice to get out and about and the convention space was great for a convention of this size. That being said, I would be singing a different tune if I had waited until Friday to get my registration because 6 hours in line is absolutely insane. If it wasn’t for that, I think a lot more furries would have much more positive things to say about the convention but I saw plenty who ended up spending the entire first day grumbling and irritated. I’m hopeful the screening next year will be lighter so I’m willing to be more forgiving and assume this was a one-time thing. I’m leaning toward going again next year!

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