Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd September!

Visiting Thought Bubble – A Brief Guide For 2017 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

With 2017’s Thought Bubble just around the corner we thought it would be a good idea to update our visitor’s guide for this year. If you’ve never joined us for a Thought Bubble before, or you’re returning for more comics fun and want to get more out of your trip to Leeds, then we hope the information below will be of help.

We’ve been busy updating the guest pages for this year’s festival, with some brilliant creators for you to meet in Leeds this month (with over 100 guests now confirmed as attending), and we’ve also been updating the exhibitor icons on the site for 2017’s convention, which will be our biggest yet, in our new home in Leeds City Centre!

A map of the city with festival venues marked on it can be found here, and the full festival guide is now available online, with details on all this year’s events, which can be found here.

Convention exhibitor information, including links to provisional floor plans, can be found below for:

comiXology Marquee

Cookridge Street Marquee

Leeds Town Hall Marquee

Victoria Hall

Free maps of all convention halls with exhibitors and guests listed on them will be available at the event, along with free print copies of this year’s festival guide.




Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Thought Bubble convention, taking place on the 23rd and 24th September, and can be pre-purchased via our website or picked up in person from Travelling Man stores! We’ve got free entry for under-12s and over-65s, and discounts for those attending in costume to celebrate our expanded cosplay programme, more on which can be found here.

This year’s mid-con party, celebrating comiXology’s tenth birthday, is free-to-attend, and full information can be found in the guide, or on the website here.

Registration is now open for 2017’s Comics Forum academic conference, which takes place at Leeds Library on 21st and 22nd September. Full details of this, including how to register, can be found in the festival guide.



  1. Getting to Leeds itself is relatively easy, both from within the UK and internationally, as regular rail services bring you into the heart of the city. Leeds rail station is about a 5 minute walk from the convention site, and there’s a taxi rank that’s constantly manned just outside the main station entrance.
  2. If you’re flying into Manchester airport then there’s a direct train every half hour that will bring you into Leeds station in around 1.5 hours.
  3. If you’re flying into one of London’s airports then you can catch a direct train from London Kings Cross to Leeds that will bring you into Leeds station in around 2.5 hours;
  4. If you’re driving into Leeds then there’s information on how to get to the convention village area available here – please be aware that Leeds has a slightly tricky one-way system, so it’s best to allow for some extra time when setting off;
  5. Parking is available at a variety of venues in Leeds City Centre – take a look here for parking options, or click here for Leeds park and ride – there is no parking provided at the convention venues, and, due to this being a city centre location, we strongly advise planning your journey and parking spot ahead of the convention dates;
  6. If you’re getting the bus into the city, then the convention area is serviced by a number of routes, full details of which can be found here.



The official hotel partner for this year’s convention is the Radisson Blu which is located in Leeds city centre, and is directly adjacent to the convention site. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from the rail station, and close to central bus routes in the city.

Leeds itself is a fairly compact city to get around, and you can walk from the top part of town (the university areas on Woodhouse Lane) down to the convention area in Leeds City Centre in around 20 minutes. If you need any supplies while you’re in town, then the shopping district can be found clustered around The Headrow and Albion street, with a large shopping mall at Trinity Leeds on Boar Lane (the site of this year’s Mid-Con party), all of which are a short walk from the convention area, which also has a number of nearby bars and restaurants on the surrounding streets.


The convention – 10 important points:

  1. This year’s convention takes place on the weekend of September 23rd and 24th, with doors opening to the public at 10am and closing at 6pm on Saturday 23rd September and 10am until 5pm on Sunday 24th September;
  2. Tickets will be available for purchase on the day of the convention, but this may involve some queueing, and your convention wristband will get you into all events taking place at the convention on the day/s for which it is valid (including panels and live events) – your wristband can be picked up from the ticket desks at the convention village on the day (just bring along your physical ticket to exchange, or the booking email if a physical ticket was not provided);
  3. Venue information for 2017’s events can be found here, and all listings in the festival programme include the individual event’s locations (including postcodes, where appropriate) and timings;
  4. We’d recommend bringing some waterproof clothing, as Leeds’ weather can be changeable in September, and there are open spaces between the convention venues;
  5. All venues at the convention are wheelchair accessible, and baby changing facilities are available in Leeds Town Hall, Leeds City Museum and the Carriageworks Theatre;
  6. We’d recommend bringing a decent amount of cash (especially change) with you, as our supply is generally taken up with handling on-the-door ticket sales, but there are a number of free-to-use cashpoints in the area, which our volunteers will be happy to point you in the direction of – on a related note, exhibitors will love you if you can pay with exact change;
  7. While we don’t impose limits on the number of items people can bring to be signed, please be aware that, for the purposes of security, we may need to check your bags on entering convention venues, so kindly ask for your cooperation in this regard;
  8. If you have any issues during your visit, don’t be afraid to ask for help, as our red-shirted volunteers will be happy to assist you in anything you need during the weekend – if you find yourself needing a quiet space during the convention at any time, then Bub’s Lounge in Leeds City Museum is free to enter for all attendees, and designed in partnership with Leeds Specialist Autism Services;
  9. A simple point, but an important one – keep hydrated and remember to make time to eat as well, low blood sugar and dehydration can make even the simplest of tasks a lot more daunting, so be sure to look after yourself during the convention;
  10. The most important aspect of any convention is to have fun – Thought Bubble is an extremely friendly show, and we aim to cater to a wide spectrum of attendees, many of whom may be attending a show like this for the first time, so we ask that:
    • attendees treat each other, including exhibitors, guests, and volunteers, with respect;
    • anyone wishing to take photographs or film at any Thought Bubble events are requested to please ask permission from the subject/s before doing so – information on our Cosplay policies can be found here.


A5 Flyer - Thought Bubble



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