The Furball Dance Party, the gay men’s event gaining national attention while staying true to its furry heart and soul, makes it’s big ol’ hairy Atlanta debut.
By Dustin Shrader
If you think Furball is some sort of pet charity, think again. Originally conceived at NYC’s LGBT Community Center all the way back in 2004, Furball is now an effort like no other spanning dance parties in several big cities.
The furlicious party has grown into an increasingly a wild night for bears and bear lovers, and its set to make its Atlanta debut on Feb. 12. Now crowds in cites from Chicago to Provincetown, Fire Islans to New Orleans and DC, Dallas and London, have dubbed it a “be there or be bare” night for anyone and everyone.
DJs such as Frankie Knuckles, Barry Harris, Hifi Sean and Corey Craig have all made Furball their own. A “fun, inclusive dance party” with kick-ass music is ready to take the ATL by storm with Harris on the decks. Furball promoter Joe Fiore broke it down for David Atlanta on why our town had to be the next stop on his fur-filled list.
Where did inspiration come about for the event?
Furball started as a series I was running for the Center called Dance:208. At the time, bear dance parties were considered too niche – “bears don’t dance” – but by the second party almost a 1000 people had shown up, and Furball was affectionately nicknamed the Bear Prom due to the Center’s former high school locale. I wanted to throw a first class party with great DJs, music and atmosphere for a group that had till that point been marginalized by the mainstream gay culture.
Is it only limited to fur daddies and fur boys?
Furball may have started as a bear dance party, but now bears are anything but marginalized and a strong flavor in gay life. Fur daddies and boys attend in great numbers of course, but so do lovers of great music and dancing. Especially when DJ Barry Harris of Thunderous fame hits the decks!
What sets Furball apart from anything ATL has seen in the past?
Furball has a national profile now and is fun, inclusive, furry with great music and hot gogo bears and cubs. The music is key and energetic and the boys love to dance. Furball also brings a NYC flavor – humor, inclusiveness and edge coupled with great music and a sexy atmosphere – with a touch of fetish/leather. Furball has blasted Chicago – DC – New Orleans and NYC in the past year breaking attendance records with the furry boys staying around all night.
What can we expect?
You can expect great music, hot guys, gogo bears and cubs, a fun sexy atmosphere. Cheap drinks and cheaper guys. no attitude, and party that plans to go all night.
Why the decision now to bring it to ATL?
Atlanta has a great bear scene and a great club scene and history. The Heretic is a great locale with a long history of fun parties and major talent. I felt the time was right.
Will it become an annual event?
I hope so – perhaps even more often!
Anything else you’d like to include for all of us Southern fur lovers?
Furball started as a first class party for bears who were at the time not always treated that way by the community at large. I am glad to say times have changed and bears are hotter, but the Furball philosophy of being a party for everyone has continued. Everyone can be sexy and have fun. And as the name implies, I do not take myself too seriously and want Furball to be a great night out of fun and dancing. I am looking forward to another great evening in Atlanta!
Furball brings the house down at Heretic on Friday, Feb. 12, at 10 p.m. Visit hereticatlanta.com. Photo by Dick Mitchell. Click play below for a taste of Fur!