Bigger & better in September:
2015 Compass Taichung International Food & Music Festival
By Douglas Habecker Translated by S. Ying
Photos by Basil Hall
There are times when seemingly-negative things end up being positive ones. Such appears to be the case with the heavy rains that led to the postponement of the 2015 Compass Taichung International Food & Music Festival back in late May. Although the previous 11 years of this very popular annual event had all been held in May (Compass Magazine's official "birthday"), organizers and participants were frequently confronted with worries about rain and even typhoons in a month notorious for unstable weather.
Hopefully, such concerns will be less of an issue during the rescheduled Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 19-20 Compass Festival, which in future years will continue to take place in this late-summer/early-fall season. Since May, the decision to change the event date has been affirmed by a significant number of new vendors who have signed up, meaning that the 2015 Compass Festival will be even larger than originally planned. What isn't changing from previous events is the location--the attractive, grassy Art Museum Parkway (a.k.a. Art Parkway, Wuquan Parkway)--and the festival's mission of showcasing an excellent cross-section of the city's restaurants, bars, shops and other businesses, not to mention Taichung-based bands, musicians and other performers, over two days in one compact space.
As before, very large crowds (generally 15,000-20,000 people) are expected on both days between 1 and 9 p.m. to roam around, stretch out, eat, drink, listen to music, dance and/or chill out among the 60-70 booths operated by local restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, artists, non-profit organizations and other vendors, and in front of the main stage, where nonstop live music and performances across a fairly wide spectrum will take place. Besides the cornucopia of international cuisine and beverages on offer, the festival's long-time exclusive Official Beer Sponsor, Taiwan Beer, will be offering its usual range of beers for unbeatable prices.
The other main attraction will be an equally diverse variety of original live music, provided almost exclusively by Taichung-area local and foreign musicians and bands, ranging from reggae and classic rock to--uniquely this year--a Japanese taiko drum performance (sponsored by Tanzih Orchid Garden) by Taichung-based Huludun Smile Taiko Drum Troupe, a group made up of local teenagers that recently took third place among 54 teams at an international taiko competition in Japan.
As always, this event is free and open to the public. Barring any typhoons or torrential rainstorms, the event will go on with rain/shade tents conveniently provided for visitors. To receive the latest updates on the event, be sure and check Compass Magazine's Facebook event page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/160949963971919/?fref=ts) or www.taiwanfun.com. See you there!