Welcome to Anthrocon!

ANTHROCON is the world's largest convention for those fascinated with anthropomorphics, which are humanlike animal characters such as have fascinated mankind since the dawn of human imagination. We are a collection of artists, animators, writers, costumers, puppeteers, and just everyday fans who enjoy cartoon animals and their kin. Membership is open to any and all who like to imagine what it would be like if animals could walk and talk as we do -- and no, you do not have to wear a costume to attend!

This year, we have received word that a large group of fans from Scandinavia will be joining us, and anticipating the arrival of longboats on the Allegheny River, we are preparing for THE VIKING INVASION! They should fit right in with us. Vikings have been known to ride dragons, to wear fur, and to really know how to enjoy a good time. We look forward to meeting our Verangian friends, although we hope that they keep the pillaging to a minimum and that they do not take up all the tables at Tonic. We hope, too, that they do not make so much noise that they wake our honored guests, both of whom we are looking forward to hosting at the largest Anthropomorphics convention in the world. We are excited to welcome voice artist Kimlinh Tran, who has loaned her considerable voice talents to such projects as Dust: An Elysian Tail, the My Little Portal web series, and dozens of others. We are equally excited to honor a man who is credited with creating (almost by accident) the art of the professional sports mascot, somthing we often point to as a primary example of Anthropomorphics in every day life: Mr. Ted Giannoulas, creator of the groundbreaking mascot persona The San Diego Chicken!



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Anthrocon announces its 2015 guests of honor!

Each year, Anthrocon honors a small number of people who we feel have made significant contributions to the field of anthropomorphics. Our guests this year are two people who have the talent of bringing characters to life and making us believe that such Furry creatures exist.  Please welcome Ms. Kimlinh Tran, whose voice you have heard in Dust: An Elysian Tail and in many other places, and Mr. Ted Giannoulas, a man who has not only made a career out of fursuiting but who is credited with establishing the modern day sports mascot in the public eye with his incredible partner-in-comedy The San Diego Chicken.

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AC 2015 - Open Call for Tournaments and Equipment

Hi all.

Tournaments!

We have some awesome events lined up for the Video Game Room already this year, but we always need more. If you have a killing urge, burning drive or even a passing whim to run a tournament, well, here's your chance. Either respond to this thread or send me a DM with your idea and we'll get the ball rolling! What do we have lined up so far? Here's the list (in no particular order):

Smash Bros Melee, Kirby Superstar, Mario Kart 8, Steel Battalion, Tetris Attack, Retro Royale 2, Smash WiiU, DDR, Pokemon (3DS) and a special Amiibo-only Smash!

If there's anything else you'd like to see on our schedule, now's the time to contact us about it. We'll be accepting submissions until March 25th, but the sooner the better!

Equipment!

We also need your gear! While AC owns some of it's own equipment, we always need our fellow furs to bring their consoles, games, controllers and sometimes even TVs to help us fill our space for the weekend. This year in particular, we'll be adding more retro console space, so dust off your old treasures, test them out and bring them along for the ride. We'll even take them off your hands permanently if you'd rather not take them home! We also really, really need a few more WiiU-GameCube controller converters. If you have one that we can use for even just the Saturday night Smash tournament, that would help immensely. The list of this year's helpful donations is:

GameCube Controllers and WiiU Adapters, XBOX and PS controllers of any generation, any party or fighting games, older consoles and their controllers and few smaller CRTs if you really want to help out.

 

Thanks!

'Kiric

 

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Charity Auction/Raffle Donations Needed!

As you may have heard, Anthrocon's selected charity this year is The Western PA Humane Society, which provides comprehensive, compassionate and humane services to enhance the lives of companion animals for families and the community; and educates to prevent cruelty to all animals in the region. While cash donations made at the convention are great, the plurality of funds are raised via donations of artwork and merchandise to our Charity Auction and Raffle. We're looking for popular items and unique craftwork that will make people say, "I want that!"

While we must distribute items between the Raffle and Auction based on available space, time, and perceived and past value, here are some examples of donations that went big in past years...

Great examples for the raffle: Crafts based on hot trends ("Toothless" Build-A-Bear plus - $381); Popular media (Sherlock Hound DVD set - $147); Art bought at prior convention art shows ("Wrath" art by Terrie Smith - $83); Giant, brand new plush of popular animals or characters (Border collie plush - $129); Merchandise based on popular fiction (Dr. Who's sonic screwdriver - $158)

Great examples for the auction: Fursuit costumes and commissions (Griffon fursuit head - $460); Rare convention memorabilia (Full set of all AC t-shirts since 1997 - $200); Professional sculpture (Softsculp poseable gryphon - $350); Unique opportunities (A speaking part in audio version of Diane Duane's "The Last Meow" - $500); Dorsai fursuit tags (Tag #1000 - $1600)

If you have an item you believe would be appropriate and would like to donate, please contact charity(at)anthrocon.org!

Helpful links:

Charity Auction/Raffle FAQ - http://www.anthrocon.org/charity

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Anthrocon 2015 Hotel Opening Wrapup

As expected, there was a big rush for the hotels at 11 AM, and the Courtyard sold out immediately with the Westin following just minutes later. As of this writing, all other hotels are open.

If you successfully reserved a hotel room, we'd appreciate it if you took 2 minutes to fill out our Anthrocon 2015 Hotel Reservation Experience Survey. I will read each survey that is submitted.

Some people reported spending a longer time in the "wait room" than in previous years, this is due to PassKey (correctly) expecting to have even more traffic this year, and making the settings for the waiting room be just a little more conservative than in previous years. We have will be having discussions with PassKey later in the week to see if there's anything we can do to address this in future years.

If you wanted to arrive on Wednesday the 8th but didn't have any luck getting a room on that date, please reach out to Visit Pittsburgh at . They are working with the hotels to try and free up more rooms on Wednedsay evening.

-- Giza

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PASSKEY reservation note: Autoresponder for confirmations is broken.

VisitPittsburgh reports that the autoresponder that is supposed to send out registration confirmations is on the fritz. Gail and her hardworking compatriots at the Housing Services offices will be sending out confirmations by hand over the next few days. Be patient!

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What Happens When Anthrocon 2015 Hotels Open on Monday?


"Say.. that's a nice webserver you have there..."

Hi everyone, this is your friendly webmaster leopard here!

I'm sure there are lots of questions about what will happen when hotels open on Monday morning, and I'd like to cover some of them in this post.

10 AM EST, Monday

Around this time, I will place the website into read-only mode. Any attempt to load a page from our website will instead show our hotel countdown page. The purpose behind the countdown page is to keep the website from falling over under the insane crush of traffic which is expected to hit at 11 AM. This level of traffic is greater than even during the convention itself.

11 AM EST, Monday

The hotel page goes live. Rather than reloading the website, you can view the official time either at the USNO's webpage or at www.time.gov.

This is an automated process handled by PHP code on the server side and requires no manual intervention on my part. This is important because with thousands of inbound connections, my SSH connection may not be very responsive. Smiling In theory, this means everyone should be able to visit the website with no issues. In practice, a huge spike in traffic may make the site unresponsive for a few seconds.

That is why, instead of posting the hotel reservation link on only this website, we are also posting it on our major social media channels also at 11 AM EST on Monday:

I would strongly recommend bookmarking these links now, and checking them on Monday morning as an alternative to this website.

11:05 AM EST, Monday

If you plan on staying in The Westin, Doubles sell out within a few minutes, and all other rooms sell out of the Westin within the first 30 minutes of hotels opening.

If you plan on staying in The Courtyard, there are very few rooms available there, and they are in high demand; thus, they can be expected to sell out almost immediately. We must apologize in advance for this, but there is very little that we can do about it. The Courtyard has been extremely gracious with us and has allocated as many rooms to us as they are allowed to under their corporate policies. Having learned from previous years, we limited the number of rooms available to supersponsors for their advance reservations, so we can assure you that there are as many rooms available at the Courtyard as is practical for us.

In short, if you do not see your preferred hotel listed, it means that it has probably sold out. The first thing you should do is try shortening your stay. Sometimes the hotels will sell out on the earlier or later days, but still have plenty of rooms available for the peak nights. If you shorten your stay to just Friday and Saturday, the hotel may re-appear. Book your room, then, and contact housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com to see about extending your stay afterward.

If you experience any issues or have questions or concerns about your reservation, please contact VisitPittsburgh Housing Services at housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com. Do not contact Anthrocon! This system is operated entirely by a third party and we have no access to it, and we will not be able to help.

11:30 AM EST, Monday

If traffic levels last year were any indication, things usually calm down within 30 minutes. When that happens, I'll restore the regular version of the website and things will be back to normal here.

Now that I got a room, what do I do with it?

First, please visit our Anthrocon 2015 Hotel Reservation Experience Survey and let us know your thoughts on the reservation experience.

Next, make travel plans!

Finally, if you need roommates, we have room share forums for that.

You got questions? We got answers!

If this post didn't cover any outstanding questions, please let us know in the comments below or via email!

Best of luck to everyone on Monday, I hope you get the hotel room you want!

-- Giza

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Anthrocon promo video

Richard Baldovin of Trifocal Production made a promo video for us, just because.  We think he did an outstanding job, even if he did make our chairman look fat.

 

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Anthrocon 2015 Charity: Western PA Humane Society

Anthrocon has selected the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to be our beneficiary for 2015. Their mission is to provide the most comprehensive, compassionate and humane services to enhance the lives of companion animals for families and the community; to educate and to prevent cruelty to all animals in the region. They will be at the Charity Auction and will have a table in the Dealers' Room where you can meet them and peruse information about their organization.

More information about the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society can be found at their website, wpahumane.org. If you have any questions regarding the Western PA Humane Society, they can be reached through their representative to us, Sarah Shively, at or by phone at 412-321-4625 ext. 244.

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Special notes for 2015 Supersponsors

First off, thank you very much for your support! We quite literally could not do it without you.

This is just a reminder of the perks that Supersponsors can expect this year:

1) Advance hotel reservations. A link will be sent out by email on January 30 at 11:00 AM EST. Please be certain to whitelist "anthrocon.org" in your email client; we are not responsible for lost or misdirected emails. If you do not receive the link by that time (after giving it a few minutes to percolate through the internet tubes), contact ceo(at)anthrocon.org. As a reminder, we can only offer a single room for advance booking. If you want to have more than one room, there must be a supersponsor in each one. We apologize if this is an inconvenience, but sad prior experience has made it necessary.

2) Supersponsor luncheon. We can only offer this to pre-registered supersponsors! It will be at 11:30 on Saturday, in the Westin's Allegheny Ballroom, and will be served buffet-style. As a courtesy, we let fursuiters who want to take part in the parade get to the buffet tables first so that they have time to get changed. It is listed as ending at 1:00 on the schedule, but even the chairman can not talk for that long, so there should be ample time to get into costume if you wish to take part in the parade.

3) Advance admission to the dealer's room. We keep a separate line for sponsors and supersponsors, who are allowed in a few minutes ahead of the pack.

4) Advance admission and up-front seating at main-stage events. You get your own line in the prefunction area outside of the Spirit of Pittsburgh ballroom.

5) Nifty stuff. How nifty? So nifty we cannot even begin to describe it! Not yet, at least.

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