Early filk cons
Before OVFF, there were the early filk cons.
The history of these cons is little documented; this page is the result of a discussion on rec.music.filk. I (Gary McGath) wasn't going to filk events then; the information is all from various contributors, including Bill Roper, Lee Gold, Barney Evans, Margaret Middleton, Phil Parker, and Harold Stein.
If you see any mistakes here or know of any other filk cons before 1984, please let me know.
The first filk con was, appropriately enough, called FilkCon, held in July 1979 in Arlington Heights, Illinois, probably at the Arlington Park Hilton. Bill Roper writes: "Curt Clemmer did the majority of the setup on the ground, being a Chicago local; Margaret Middleton and the Passovoys were also involved in the organization of the con."
FilkCon II. Margaret says this was held in Toledo, Ohio, in August 1980. Marty Burke was the Guest of Honor, thus being the first GoH at a filk convention. Phil Parker reports that it was organized by an Ann Arbor fan base. Bill Roper says tapes were released for FilkCon I and FilkCon II.
FilkCon III, aka FilkCon West. Margaret reports this was in Los Angeles in June 1981, with Buck and Juanita Coulson as Guests of Honor. Barney Evans gives the dates as June 5-7, 1981, and the location as the LASFS clubhouse.
The next one in Margaret's chronology is BayFilk I, aka FilkCon 4.1 (west), in Oakland, California. This was held in 1982, probably in March. She adds: "ha: according to this [Kantele] I was GoH!" Off Centaur issued two FilkCon West tapes in 1982. This was the beginning of the use of Margaret's fixed-point decimal numbers for FilkCons; Bill Roper says this nomenclature kept going through OVFF II, which was FilkCon 9.2 (or something like that).
FilkCon 4.2 (East) was held in Kansas City, "in-parallel with a ConQuest," over Memorial Day weekend of 1982. A tape was issued of songs performed at the con.
FilkCon 5.1 (West), aka ConChord I, was held at Griswold's Inn, Fullerton, California (in the Los Angeles Area) on March 11-13, 1983. Guests of honor were Bob and Anne Passovoy. Information from Barney Evans.
FilkCon 5.2 (East) was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in-parallel with an OKON, in July 1983. Between this and Kansas City, this is obviously "east" as defined by Californians.
Bayfilk II was held the weekend of March 2-4, 1984, in San Jose, California.