"There's no place like home...." Following these well-known words, one of Taichung's oldest and most popular annual international festivals is returning this year to its long-term "home" after a one-year absence. The 2017 Compass Taichung International Food & Music Festival, now in its 14th year, will be back in the familiar surroundings of the Art Museum Parkway when it takes place on the weekend of Oct. 28-29, from about 12 noon to 9 p.m. on both days.
Due to renovation work on the Parkway last year, Compass Festival was forced in 2016 to relocate to the Calligraphy Greenway, where it enjoyed another success. Work on the restaurant/cafe-lined Art Museum Parkway--stretching south from the front plaza of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts--is now almost complete, giving this popular area a facelift and some improvements and allowing the Compass Festival to return to a venue it has used for almost a decade. The specific stretch of this green belt between WuQuan West 3rd and 4th streets and bordered on the north and south by WuQuan 3rd and 4th streets is the most popular area, known for the eclectic, creative and attractive collection of restaurants, cafes, shops and other businesses housed in renovated old houses. With an abundance of grass, it's also perfect for sprawling out on during an afternoon and evening with great live music, food and drink.
Compass Festival's tried-and-tested formula, which has attracted an average of 16-18,000 visitors over a weekend in recent years, will remain in place this year. The event was originally founded to showcase Taichung's huge assortment of dining establishments, allowing visitors to eat their way through a savory cross-section of local and international cuisine. City restaurants, cafes, food suppliers and bars will make up the majority of this year's 50-60 vendor booths, selling everything from exotic fare from all over Asia to western favorites. Going with this is always an almost as diverse variety of beverages, from teas and coffees to wines and cocktails. As has been the case for many years, beer will be the exclusive domain of Official Beer Sponsor Taiwan Beer, with a product variety and prices that keep festival-goers very satisfied.
Besides food and drink, a range of shops, services, clubs, schools, artists, and non-profit and charity organizations will also be selling items, holding activities, signing up members and promoting themselves, rounding out this showcase of Taichung. Long-time Compass Festival Official Sponsor and supporter World Gym will also be on hand to promote its fitness centers and programs.
As always, one of the main reasons that visitors linger all weekend at Compass Festival is what is arguably the best exclusively-Taichung sampling of local bands and musicians, ranging across a broad range of musical styles--classic rock, hip hop, punk, reggae, funk and so on. The performers themselves are an equally interesting mix of perennial favorites who have played at the Festival almost since its founding, like Point 22 (.22), Dirty Skies, Dread Rider, and Pat Reid, to first-timers like Lauren Leach that visitors will be enjoying for the first time. Other performers in the line-up this year include Josh Dylan S, Manner Kings, So-so's, Dr. Reniculous Lipz and the Scallyunz, 大MET 4, Nell, Dr. Boo with Michael Farris, Chantal Human, San Jiao Mao, and The Shapemaster. Music continues nonstop from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday and about 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Besides Taiwan Beer and World Gym, other official sponsors for the 2017 Compass Festival include Corning Taiwan, and Taichung City Government Information Bureau. Without all of these faithful supporters, Compass Festival simply would not be possible.
Whether you're a lifelong resident of Taichung or visiting the city for the first time, Compass Festival is the perfect way to enjoy some of the finest offerings in Taiwan's second-largest city, all within a relatively compact location. As always, the festival is free and open to the public and will continue, rain or shine (with rain/shade tents available on site), with the exception of typhoons or torrential rain. For the latest festival updates, check Compass Magazine's Facebook page or visit www.taiwanfun.com. See the map in this article for specific location, too.
See you at the 2017 Compass Festival!
Dread Rider | 大MET 4 | Point 22 (.22) 點二二 | Dr Reniculous Lipz & the Skallyunz (白悟空) | Shapemaster | San Jiao Mao (三腳貓 樂團) | Moss | Dirty Skies | The So-so's | The Manner Kings 禮貌王 | Chantal Human | Dr. Boo w/ Michael Farris | 內兒 (Nell) | Pat Reid | Joshua Dylan S | Lauren Leach...and more!