WELCOME TO SURFUR!
JULY 7TH TO 11TH, 2017
Vancouver Island's Only Furry Camping Event
2018 Changes for SURFUR
First and foremost I'd like to address my absence from my event duties, from the event chat and from the community in general.
After the 2017 event, I took some time to deal with personal issues, and to reflect on Surfur, and its future.
I'm not going to lie. I came close to shutting the event down.
One of the biggest reasons was a lack of respect I felt was coming from guests. The lack of respect to not only staff members, but to the event itself.
Of course, this does not reflect everyone's actions, but unfortunately enough people to cause some serious problems.
The amount of work and stress involved with planning and running the event started to not seem worth it after the behavior that was witnessed at the 2017 event.
I was so shocked by it that I have had to take a 5 month hiatus just to process it all, and figure out our next move.
Without going into detail, some of the major incidents we encountered this past event were multiple cases of sexual misconduct, public nudity, extreme intoxication, fireworks, drugs, an overdose, and quite frankly, shitty attitudes that the staff and myself had to endure.
What was truly shocking was how some attempted to justify some of the behaviors witnessed at the event.
After further discussion with others, we have found that Surfur is not the only furry event to have these kinds of issues and justifications on this rise. The problem seems to be plaguing other events.
What worries me most about Surfur are the parallels that we seem to be sharing with the now defunct Rainfurrest. I feel it is time we implemented some serious changes to the format of Surfur so that we can avoid a potentially similar fate.
Here are some of the major changes we are looking to make for next year's event; and even a little insight into why we are making these changes.
This is the big one. We will no longer be doing open registration. Registration will be made available to members of the event. Which brings me to the next topic...
Membership will be FREE, however it will have to be earned. The system will work as follows:
-People who have attended the event in the past for 3 years or more without any issues will be eligible to receive a membership.
-People who have attended less than 3 years, or have caused problems/broken rules in the past will be eligible for a trial membership.
-People who have attended the event for all 3 years without incident may be eligible for voucher status, which will allow them to invite at least 2 people per year. This is given on a case by case basis.
Code Of Conduct
The COC will not only be completely overhauled, but expectations of guests will be higher.
Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
For lots of people, the fandom and open sexual expression/activities are intertwined. However we all have an expectation on how to behave when in public. And this event is considered to be in the public venue. Because of the shocking amount of sexual related incidents this year, (12 reported in 2017, up from 2 reported in 2016) we are going to be putting out a briefing on what is considered okay and what isn't because it is apparent that is something we have to do. This will be part of the code of conduct overhaul, but the framework is basically going to be as so:
Don't do anything you wouldn't do in public with a stranger. Furries aren't above the law, and just because we are all furries at a furry event, it doesn't mean we all want to:
-See you naked.
-Be touched by you.
-Have you invade our personal space.
From this point on, anyone who is found to be guilty of sexual misconduct will receive an immediate expulsion from the event without refund, and the RCMP may be notified depending on the incident.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking
Last year people got messed up. To a seriously dangerous level. We had people passed out in the open, vomiting in multiple places, drunk driving, acting like complete douchebags to staff, and we even had an overdose situation. It is because of this we are switching to a ZERO tolerance attitude on illicit narcotics. So if you decide to bring narcotics and you are caught, you will be evicted without refund. Those wondering about pot, it will be allowed in designated smoking areas with cigarette smoking. (I know I was not innocent with my cigarette smoking, and I hope having areas set up will help those with sensitivities to second hand smoke.)
People will be expected to handle their alcohol. When you have clearly had too much, you will be expected to curtail your intake and recover. You're encouraged to take advantage of water and/or coffee we will happily provide. Go for a walk, dance it off, etc. But don't keep drinking. If you are told to go to bed and you do not comply, you could be evicted from the event. Rude behavior to staff or anyone will not be tolerated. We suggest gathering your friends, looking out for each other, and having a sort of accountabilibuddy in place.
Every year, the partying has become more rambunctious and out of control: people throwing up everywhere, not respecting our drug policy, leaving trash and food on the grounds, and just causing problems like setting off alarms, fireworks or getting injured.
Since people can't be trusted to behave like adults, we are going to implement a nightly cutoff for noise and partying. There will be only one night designated for an actual dance. We believe this will actually increase attendance on the dance floor. Plans are to have the one party night extend the cutoff to 2AM.
Technology VS Camping
We are moving forward with toning down technology at the event. As cool as it is to have all the gear set up, the collected costs and burdens of having/moving all the equipment was just getting to be too much. Guests will need to plan ahead for food storage(We will be looking into adding cooler rentals, and daily ice deliveries), and if one absolutely needs a shower, there are free ones located at the main provincial park 10 minutes away. We still plan to have power, some lighting and a decent sound stage for music and movies.
These changes are being put into place to protect this event, and the staff who are responsible for it.
We aim to create a place to learn, to share and to be a part of a community. It will not be an event, it will be a gathering that is truly unique and fun, with a focus on games, art, relaxation, nature appreciation, surfing, letting loose and having a good time within reason, and of course celebrating Furry! The thing that brings us all together!
This has been on my mind for a long time, and I know that there will be naysayers that will claim “elitism” or “exclusion”. The unfortunate truth that we have come to see is that by allowing an open invite, we bring on more problems than we wish to deal with. We have grown tired of putting fires out, and I have decided to follow many other furry related events and gatherings, and go private.
I know there are a majority of you that will agree with the changes, and I look forward to making this event great with you. And if you are unsure about the changes, I urge you to give it a chance.
Starting this year, we make our own way, and those who wish to join me, we will make the event what it was supposed to be from the very beginning.
Thank you all in advance for your support. Not to me, but to the continuation of this event.
SURFUR Organizers 2018
Tj Bluevulpine and W1ngs
Okay, so our system isn't quite set up yet, so we will start with email forms to get memberships issued.
-Attended at least 3 events
-No infractions or problems on file
-Be 19 or older.
TRIAL MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
-Attended less than 3 events
-Been involved with issues, problems or minor infractions against COC
-Be 19 or older.
Will be given out on a case by case basis at the discretion of staff
The event has become a private function, and therefore we:
Do not guarantee membership to anyone.
Reserve the right to refuse membership to anyone.
Reserve the right to nullify memberships at anytime.
Be aware that membership to this event is not a right, but a privilege.
DATES FOR 2018: June 22nd to the 26th – Taylor Arm Provincial Park
Surfur is a 5 day furry fun filled outdoor camp out on beautiful Sproat Lake and a Surfin Safari to Long Beach and Tofino, where the surfs always up! Learn to surf, comb the beach and hike out to the canso bomber, a crashed plane from the early 50′s hidden deep in the forest! Get away from it all and relax at our private group site, with lake access only minutes away, or take part in events and games!
There's something for everyone at Surfur, and everyone is welcome! Run with us this July!
-Tiuk the Wasgo