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 and subsequent research for my book Tomorrow's Songs Today. 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 on the weekend of July 28-29, 1979 in Arlington Heights, Illinois, 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 was held in Toledo, Ohio, August 8-10, 1980. Marty Burke was the Guest of Honor, thus being the first GoH at a filk convention. It was organized by an Ann Arbor fan base. Tapes were released for FilkCon I and FilkCon II.
FilkCon III, aka FilkCon West, was in Los Angeles on June 5-7 1981 at the LASFS clubhouse, with Buck and Juanita Coulson as Guests of Honor. Bjo Trimble was the organizer.
BayFilk I, aka FilkCon 4.1 (west), in Oakland, California. This was held on March 5-7, 1982. Off Centaur sponsored all but the last BayFilk. Margaret Middleton was the Guest of Honor. 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), though it started falling out of use after FilkCon 5.
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.
FilkCon 5.2 (East) was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in-parallel with 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.