As we informed you earlier this year, Roman Nose State Park terminated our relationship and denied our group camp application for Oklacon 2015. The entire Oklacon Street Team, the officers that manage the event LLC and those volunteers who actually make Oklacon itself happen, scrambled to find alternative locations on short notice. We found what should have been a great opportunity for the convention, Sequoyah State Park. It included expansion options, higher quality facilities, and a new hope for Oklacon to carry on another year.
The final straw for Oklacon’s ouster from RNSP was three first-time, out-of-state individuals who elected to show up, register for our event, and engage in lewd and illegal conduct on the state park grounds, on group camp space under Oklacon’s name, as was already announced in detail here. Last week, an Oklacon attendee directly contacted Sequoyah and linked our event with these serious lapses in judgement by those three individuals that damaged Oklacon’s reputation and ability to host at RNSP to the Sequoyah State Park staff. Sequoyah now views us as too large of a liability to be hosted there, and we have received notice from the state-level management of the park system we will be denied from re-entry to any state park in the future.
So, it is with a sad and heavy heart that we inform you that Oklacon is cancelled this year and indefinitely.
We understand the extreme disappointment and trouble this will cause those who had planned to attend this year’s iteration of the world’s largest outdoor furry convention. We understand some may have arranged travel, time-off, or forfeited other plans to attend Oklacon - and to those who have been adversely impacted by the State of Oklahoma’s decision - we are extremely disappointed too.
First and foremost, those who paid any funds for registrations, lodging, tent spots, dealer spaces, etc. for Oklacon 2015 will be made whole through refunds. There are over 250 payments we have to date to refund, so please bare with us as we work to reach out and provide an orderly return of your monies no later than October 31, 2015. We will be unable to honor refunds for ‘comps’, contest winnings from 2014, or deferrals from a previous-year no-show. Any and all requests for information or refund status should only be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org - not to any one individual, through social media, or via SMS or IM.
Second, the legal entity that produces Oklacon, Fuzzy Productions LLC, will be shuttering its operations by December 31, 2015 and divesting itself of all assets and funds by that date. In an open and transparent process, we will find appropriate ways to wind down various areas such as our website, assets in storage, and funds in the bank. As an LLC, any liquidated ‘proceeds’ of the business will be returned to the five Board members of record; however, all have agreed to return any funds remaining after all refund, tax payments, and other wind down obligations are met immediately to provide them as a charitable donation to Wildcare Foundation, of Noble, OK.
Third, the Oklacon trademark will be transferred for ‘safekeeping’ and maintained only insomuch as to ensure no other event that starts in the future uses this name for its own purposes. The last Oklacon event was Oklacon 2014, and no future event under this brand will be scheduled. The damage done by the three individuals and the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department to our event planning and brand name is irreparable at this point.
Fourth, if you are an Oklahoma resident, your tax dollars fund the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department that has forced this outcome. If you wish to file a complaint by phone, you may do so at the Executive Office of Oklahoma Tourism.
Fifth, this board will not be releasing the names of the individuals who exhibited such poor behavior in 2014, the individual who last week precipitated this year’s cancellation at Sequoyah, or the names of individuals at the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department who made their decisions. We absolutely do not desire or condone any harassment of individuals, however poor their behavior or decision outcome may be. Let this be a warning to the entire Furry community both inside Oklahoma and abroad: poor actors can sabotage not only an event or a convention, but everything we stand for as a community. Despite the incredibly hard work of many furs over the course of more than a decade, it takes only a few selfish individuals acting without regard of each other to destroy the tremendous good that brings us together. Check each other, and give careful consideration to the maturity of your actions when you interact, especially at a larger community event. There is no excuse for reckless, dangerous, or illegal behavior, and we need to as a community voice and act on our intolerance for it.
Sixth, all personal information will be fully destroyed, deleted, and securely wiped after refunds have been issued and confirmed. No personal information will be stored or made available to another convention or event.
And finally, Oklacon ran for 12 years, welcoming over 1,720 unique faces into the wild splendors of Oklahoma. In a world before FWA, Califur, RMFC, or RainFurrest, we united the whole Southwest in one exciting and refreshingly different event and created a safe haven for many young furs in particular. Many of you reading this will recount some great memories and wonderful friendships made at Oklacon over the years and some call it your very first con, or even your ‘home con’. Through everyone’s generosity, we raised over $50,000 for two amazing Oklahoma charities - Safari’s Animal Sanctuary of Broken Arrow, OK and later, Wildcare Foundation of Noble, OK. We brought many firsts to the furry community, such as Charity Poker, which is now a staple event at many cons from coast to coast, and with the help of our great friends at Feral!, Predator and Prey debuted in the United States in a way only an outdoor convention could do justice to.
We’ll be honest - this outcome is a shame and a huge disappointment for all of us who have worked for so many years to bring a great time to all. And with great care and regret, we close the last chapter of the fantastic story that is “Oklacon” in the history of the furry fandom. It is with great sadness, but also optimism we look forward for what happens next. Oklacon was only ever a group of great people who wanted to see an Oklahoma owned and operated furry convention. That community has only grown and strengthened over great memories of hotdogs over the campfire, hot chocolate on a chill autumn morning, or howling into the moonlit October sky during a late night game of Werewolf.
There’s another fantastic story to be written. This time, it’s up to you to write it.
Fuzzy Productions, LLC