Thought Bubble has announced major changes for its Festival later this year, moving the event from Leeds to Harrogate – a Yorkshire spa town famous for Betty’s Tea Rooms, RHS Harlow Carr Gardens and renovated Royal Baths development – and announcing dates in November.
The 9th-10th November dates for the Festival weekend bring the much-loved event firmly back into the school term, too – sure to delight teachers keen to organise school trips to further a widening curriculum.
The first wave of guests has also been announced. Charlie Adlard, Choo, Dong, Lee Garbett, Kieron Gillen, Jock, Mildred Louis, Mick McMahon, Jamie Mckelvie, Megan Nicole, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Pernille Ørum, Jillian Tamaki, Spike Trotman, John Wagner, Kyle T. Webster and Matt Wilson will all be travelling to Yorkshire, with more guest news to come.
Thought Bubble has been in Leeds for over 12 years, but in a statement on the Festival web site announcing its move to Harrogate Convention Centre, organiser note 2018 was “a difficult year at Thought Bubble.
“We unfortunately had issues with Leeds City Council which took months for us to resolve and made it incredibly difficult to deliver the Festival last year,” they continue.
“The move to the city centre and the issues around our working relationship with the council has highlighted the fact that there is no space big enough in Leeds to host our convention. We’ve spent the last few months trying to find solutions to make the festival work and doing everything in our power to find an alternative space in Leeds.
“We’ve looked at the possibility of moving back to the Royal Armouries but we still have the issue of space and having to build a marquee which has been less than ideal with the cold weather in November and the high winds we experienced last year in September.
“Unfortunately it has become impossible to continue our convention event in Leeds. We’ve got so many exciting plans for Thought Bubble’s future and finding somewhere with room for them to become reality has been at the top of our list.
“We’ve also listened very carefully to your feedback over the past 12 years – the things that would make coming to Thought Bubble easier for you – and we’re confident that we’ve found somewhere that ticks all the boxes.”
The Harrogate Convention Centre venue is bigger, brighter and tailor made to accommodate a convention like Thought Bubble, say the Festival team.
“We are very excited about the new opportunities that this incredible space provides.
Founder and Festival Director Lisa Wood says that she and her team have searched for a venue that will do the festival justice and have found an amazing new home:
“We’re delighted to be moving to Harrogate Convention Centre. The scale of the venue, with an amazing bar area, means we can host our much loved Saturday night party under the same roof. A beautiful Edwardian hall will also give us plenty of options for panel areas and on stage presentations. The convention centre is super accessible and we’re excited to use the convention centre to build on our reputation of presenting activity that is inclusive for all.”
Paula Lorimer, director of Harrogate Convention Centre, said: “Welcoming Thought Bubble to Harrogate is really exciting for us. During its time in Leeds the show has evolved into one of the most vibrant events of its kind in the north, if not the whole UK. We’re really looking forward to working with the organisers, artists and visitors to build on that foundation. I’d say to fans of the event to come and experience our town and our venue and let’s take Thought Bubble to the next level.”
While the move of the convention to Harrogate is a big change for Thought Bubble, the team are committed to keeping it the same friendly, inclusive and amazing convention that it’s been for the last twelve years.
“We’re in a new home, it’s going to feel just the same… but better! We know change can be scary and it’s ok if you’re nervous about whether the Thought Bubble con might feel different as it moves to a new location. But you know us, and you know that everything we do is done with love and a deep desire to make something wonderful that uplifts, encourages and celebrates comics. We’re so confident that this is going to be amazing.”
The full Festival programme will be announced later in the year.
• Thought Bubble Festival online at: www.thoughtbubblefestival.com
• Visit Harrogate: www.visitharrogate.co.uk
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.