LeedsFurs Merchandise

You may have already seen the stylish LeedsFurs lanyards and T-shirts at the meet, with both items featuring our distinctive logo on top of the city colours of blue, yellow and white.

And the good news is that over the next few months, we will be creating a range of LeedsFurs branded merchandise which will be available to pre-order ahead of each meet.

If you want to be the coolest pup (or cat, or dragon, or orca) in town then drop us a message on any of our social media channels with your order and our team of kittens will get to work. The next orders will be delivered in time for the June meet on the 15th – just collect at the venue on the day.

Right now, you can buy a lanyard for £6 and a T-shirt for £10, but watch this space and the Telegram chat for further merchandise launches!

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LeedsFurs at Leeds Pride

There has always been a strong link between the furry fandom and the LGBT community so we are proud to announce that there will be an official Leeds Furs presence for the very first time at the city’s Pride event later this year.

Taking place on Sunday 5 August, Leeds Pride is one of the biggest LGBT events in the country and is now in its 12th year. It is a colourful celebration of diversity and we will be adding to that colour, having secured 30 slots in the parade. This will wind its way through the city from Millennium Square to Lower Briggate, where there will be six hours of entertainment, all for free and amidst a carnival atmosphere.

We are therefore looking for a cross-section of the local furry community – both suiters and non-suiters alike – to join us for one of the biggest parties of the year. The parade begins at 2pm so we would need to assemble beforehand, while afterwards we can enjoy the festivities in an impromptu furmeet.

If you would like to get involved, please contact us via email, drop us a message on our social media channels or speak to one of the staff members at a forthcoming meet. It would be great if you could help us make this the furriest Leeds Pride yet!

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Name a LeedsFurs Cocktail or Shot!

We pride ourselves on having a good relationship with our meet venues as well as offering something different for the local furry scene.

Over the last month, we have been in discussion with The Old Red Bus Station about creating some furry themed cocktails and shots for forthcoming meets.

You may remember that we have done this before. Back in June, Atlas created ‘Phoenix Feathers’ for our last meet there while we once had our own range of drinks at Baa Bar for the main meets.

We have shown the venue the shots menu from back then (see the top banner of this page), but it has been deemed too risque for their other customers. However, they have said they would be happy to create some exclusive drinks for us as long as we change the names.

This is where we need your help.

We are looking for furry-themed SFW names for our new-look cocktail and shot menu which will be available at all future meets. Any suggestions will be considered and we will pick the best ones to send to the bar later in the week.

If you would like to submit a name, then please contact us through our social media channels or via email.

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Introducing LeedsFurs Gastrocub

Thanks to everyone who came to this month’s coffee meet, particularly those of you who drove great distances to spend time with us.

Since we started the coffee meets back in September, they have grown considerably and we now are taking up most of the downstairs of Laynes. This is great to see and we are delighted that our little post-work gatherings are proving popular.

Today we decided to expand these meet-ups by going to MOD Pizza afterwards. We have always wanted to combine a meal with the furmeets, but finding available spaces in a restaurant on a Saturday evening has always been tricky. This is less of a problem on a Tuesday so we will now be organising a food trip after every coffee meet.

The idea is to try new restaurants in Leeds, with a different one chosen each month. These will be announced about a week in advance and it would be useful if people could confirm their interest ahead of time so we have an idea of numbers.

We are always happy to hear suggestions too – so if there’s a place in the city that you have always wanted to try, or somewhere you know that is good, then it would be great to hear from you.

Of course, the coffee meets will still be going ahead from 5-7pm as usual and you are welcome to just attend those, or just the meal, or both.

We are hoping that this new venture – the LeedsFurs Gastrocub (aka Come Dine With Chee) – will enable us to sample the excellent range of cuisine the city has to offer. So please, come dine with us.

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#103 April 2018 – Meet Lowdown

Saturday’s furmeet went exceptionally well and we would like to thank everyone who attended.

It was the biggest event we have ever run in Leeds, and the first time we have had over 100 attendees, clocking in at 113 including 32 fursuiters. The weather was perfect and we hope everyone who came had a great time.

I know the bar were delighted with the meet and this is only the start of what we hope will be a bright future together. We already have a number of ideas we would like to implement going forward, while we are always interested in feedback or suggestions from our attendees. If you have any ideas or would like to get involved with organising the meets, please let us know.

The main addition this month of course was the food service, while the newly introduced Fursuit Lounge is proving popular – it’s great to finally have one. We did buy a screen and some lights for this area, but the latter weren’t necessary in the end as the blackout curtains were removed. We’ll keep them on standby for future meets though.

As we head towards summer, we are going to start providing water for the fursuiters on the walk, as well as asking the bar to put a jug out for when we return. The water service this month worked well and we are hoping to streamline this in future.

There are a few pieces of lost property from the meet, which will be displayed on a newly created Lost Property page on this website later in the week. If you see anything that is yours, then please let us know and we can arrange to return it at a future meet.

We will also be creating a new Gallery page for the website, where you can upload your images from the meet. Keep an eye out for this too.

Finally, may we take this opportunity to thank you for making this month’s meet our biggest yet, and we hope to see you all again soon.

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Running a Furmeet III – The Meet Experience

There are many reasons why furs attend furmeets. Some are most interested in the fursuit walk, others prioritise playing table top games, while others again may just want to chill and socialise with friends. Many want a combination of all of these things and more.

The Fandom is an incredibly diverse place and meets need to reflect this. This is why we scout for feedback regularly and encourage people to contribute to the local meets if there is anything they would like to see. This has seen us conduct monthly quizzes, run prize draws and set up an Artists’ Alley, which allows artists a space to draw and showcase their work.

There are a number of meets across the country and we do try and keep the Leeds ones distinct. This is why we work with the bar to offer things like furry-themed cocktails and shots, as well as special offers on some of the drink and food. We also try and avoid going to venues that are similar to our friends in other cities so furs have a choice of different furmeet experiences across the UK.

We are also aware that there is a danger that the furmeets can become a little repetitive month after month, which is why on occasion we adopt special themes, such as our 100th birthday celebrations back in January. The variation of the fursuit walk route is another way of shaking the meets up a bit.

Ultimately, we aim to run a furmeet that everyone in our local community enjoys, one they recommend to their friends and one they keep coming back to. We are always happy to hear suggestions for new aspects of the meet as well as constructive feedback on how things could be done better. Remember, these are your meets and we want to deliver the best experience we can every third Saturday afternoon.

Thanks for attending, we do it for you.

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Running a Furmeet II – The Fursuit Walk

Over the last few years, the Fursuit Walk has become an increasingly important part of meets. For many furs, it is one of the main reasons for attending, so it’s very important it runs smoothly.

Most meets have a set route for their walks, which can be adapted depending on the circumstances. This route has been refined over time and provides a good template for future walks.

The basic route must avoid any areas of the city which could cause an issue, such as bars with a more boisterous clientelle, while also limiting the number of hazards that fursuiters are likely to encounter. In a city, this generally means aiming for pedestranised areas while keeping the number of roads to be crossed to a minimum. Areas with roadworks should also be avoided.

Events around the city also play a factor and can determine the route of the walk. For example, we know that Millennium Square is a good place to visit in February for the Ice Rink and August for City Beach, and so we tend to direct the walk towards this side of town during these months. When these events are taking place, there is a higher chance of public interaction and this is favoured by suiters.

The converse is also true though – if we know that there is a big demonstration in the city on a meet Saturday, for example, then we will avoid the area where it’s taking place. The same is true of an event which may not be particularly fursuit friendly, such as the Christmas Market in November and December. This means that in the days leading up to the meet, research is vital, and this is conducted by the team ahead of the walk route being finalised.

Another factor to consider is the weather. If it’s a hot sunny day, then the walk needs to be shortened so fursuiters don’t get dehydrated. Meanwhile, if there is a threat of rain, then the walk must not venture too far from the venue and should be near enclosed spaces wherever possible.

All of these factors are considered in the days leading up to the furmeet, but there are things on the day which also determine the nature of the walk. The main one concerns the number of fursuiters. It is very important to have the right number of spotters to fursuiters, and to ensure that all those who are marshalling the walk are in constant communication with each other. Inevitably, this affects the route we choose, as it’s important we do not lose anyone plus there is a need to be able to respond quickly should an incident occur. This is also the reason why we carry radio communication devices and wear hi-viz jackets.

Whenever you are out in public, there is always a risk that you could run into an issue, particularly with people who do not show suiters the same respect that members of our community do. Most of the time the walks pass without incident, but this doesn’t mean that the chance is nil. Everything we do in the organising of the Fursuit Walk is done to reduce this risk and we do hope that everyone has fun showcasing their suits, interacting with the public and taking photographs. Running the walks can be a challenge, but over time we have adapted to the changes in our community and our city, and hope that everyone enjoys what is an integral part of the meets. It’s certainly a pleasure to run them.

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Announcing LeedsFurs Coffee Meets

Earlier this month, a few of us decided to meet for coffee to see whether a regular midweek meet-up would be viable. While we only numbered four, we found a great little place very near the station, which is ideal for anyone looking for a casual post-work drink with friends.

As a result, starting from next Tuesday, 5 September, you are welcome to join us at Laynes Espresso bar on New Station Street (look for the shop with the bright orange frontage) from 5-7pm for what will become our regular LeedsFurs coffee meet.

Laynes is an independent purveyor of fine coffees and teas, along with a wonderful selection of cakes. They have a relaxed atmosphere and it’s the perfect place to chill after a hard day at work.

As this is a casual affair, no fursuits please, but feel free to bring art supplies or card games if you wish.

We will meet every first Tuesday of the month, meaning the remaining dates for 2017 will be:
5 September
3 October
7 November
5 December

So delay the commute, relax and come and join us as we embark on a brand new venture.

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Upcoming Meets

Leeds Meets generally take place on the third Saturday of every month.

The next meets will be:

#131 – Saturday 21st May
#132 – Saturday 18th June
#133 – Saturday 16th July
#134 – Saturday 20th August

Latest Meet Information

In order to ensure the most consistent latest information is always available during these rapidly changing times, our Telegram channels should be relied upon for information.

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