I didn't know what to expect from NeonFUR this year. With the location change to Coolangatta and another hotel change I really didn't know what to expect. For a start, I'll like to talk about the new location. It was close to the airport so that reduced taxi fares and time for transport. It was a much chiller vibe than Serfer's Paradice. There were no night club hawkers annoying you and the like. There was still the beach and plenty of restaurants nearby but not as many activities for people to do.
The hotel itself was more vintage but the rooms were clean and I enjoyed the fan plus aircon combination in the rooms. The function rooms, headless lounge worked well and the small dealer's den ran on all three days. There was a pool and spa and a water slide. The hallways were not airconditioned though which was a downside. Another downside was the lack of a hotel bar.
NeonFUR has always been about hanging with your friends and this year was no exception. The amount of fun you have is tied to how many of your friends are attending. I wouldn't recommend NeonFUR to new furries as their first convention or furs who don't know many other people in the fandom. I'd imagine you'd have a hard time having fun if that was the case. I spend most of my time hanging out with my friends and exploring. I'm glad they went away from the build your own con thing this year by having some panels. It was a welcome change.
I was glad that I bought my fursuit with me. I could only take short stints in my suit due to the heat on Saturday but I got more time in my suit on Saturday. They could have done more things to coax fursuiters out of their rooms, for example, have an organized photoshoot, fursuit walk or fursuit games. The dance raves on Saturday and Sunday brought out the fursuiters though. Most of the time there was this fursuit shyness with people waiting to see others suiting before doing it themselves. I didn't end up taking many photos due to this but I was fursuiting a lot myself.
I recommended using the group chat to organize photoshoots and fursuit events. The themed photo shoots didn't happen as far as I know. My boyfriend Lexy helped get a few furs together for an unofficial fursuit walk to the state border monument and to the beach the next day. You really had to be proactive to get stuff happening. It was a bit isolating that there wasn't an event to bring everyone out of their rooms. It's a thing that an event like FurJAM has with its park meet up that NeonFUR doesn't.
I did enjoy myself. I'm glad that NeonFUR is moving out from the Godzilla shadow of FurDU and making a name for itself. I think it's NeonFUR's main problem, furs expect FurDU from a totally different event. There was a bit of salt and drama floating about surrounding NeonFUR. I made the decision that I wouldn't let that dampen my enjoyment of the convention. I went to NeonFUR with the expectation I was going to enjoy a weekend with my friends and that's what I did.