Compass Fest 2019 is October 5-6
In many western countries, a “Sweet 16” birthday marks a coming-of-age and new stage in life for a teenager. Although Compass Magazine’s annual international food and music festival arguably reached a certain maturity years ago, the fact that this event has now reached its 16th year is certainly worth noting. It also means that Compass Fest has very few peers when it comes to longevity or popularity in central Taiwan.
After jumping back and forth between venues over the past few years, the 2019 Compass Festival will remain at the same location for the second consecutive year, taking place on the Oct. 5-6 weekend at the large former UNO Market site on Taiwan Boulevard, Sec. 3, between Top City and HuiZhong Road. Last year’s very successful Festival at this high-profile venue next to two of Taiwan’s largest department stores has Compass organizers excited about yet another outstanding two days of fun for thousands of Taichung residents and visitors.
Showcasing the “Best of Taichung” as always, the fun will start around 12-1 p.m. on both days and go until 10 p.m. on Saturday and 9 p.m. on Sunday, including non-stop live music from about 18 Taichung-based foreign and Taiwanese bands and artists, playing mostly original music, from jazz and country-and-western to folk, funk and rock. This feature has undoubtedly made the Compass Festival one of the city’s leading promoters of home-grown music and musical artists.
Every year, audiences can look forward to a diverse mixture of returning favorites and interesting, all-new acts. In the former category at the 2019 event are Dave Stanley, Native Space, First Time Again, Dirty Skies, Shapemaster, Philosophia, San Jiao Mao, 3-Day Bender, and Point 22. Taking the stage for the first time at a Compass Festival will be Schoen Oslund, Rare Groove, The Beat Sharks, Cam Collective, Project Zeelandia, and Cafe Con Pan.
Complementing the auditory and visual entertainment that the stage provides are an equally eclectic combination of Festival vendors, which normally number around 50 and include restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, shops, artists and non-profit organizations. While most of these are from central Taiwan, a few travel from as far away as Taitung to offer festival-goers a cornucopia of international and local food, drinks and other products. Vendors were continuing to sign up as this magazine went to print and the food variety already ranges from American-style pastries and desserts to Mexican tacos, western-style grilled steaks and sausages, and Taiwanese-style grilled dumplings and rice sausages. Beverage selections start with Official Beer Sponsor Taiwan Beer’s range of brews and extend to everything from alcoholic ciders and cocktails to horchata and molasses-sweetened pearl milk tea.
Besides Taiwan Beer, official sponsors of the 2019 Compass Festival include faithful supporters World Gym and Corning Taiwan. Organizers are also excited to welcome first-time sponsor, Brothers Baseball Club, which is organizing special appearances by Brothers players at the Festival and will also have a booth selling team items.
It’s worth reminding first-time Compass Festival participants that this event is not only free and open to everyone (attracting an annual average 15-20,000 visitors) but has plenty of fun for all ages and all kinds of reasons to stick around for the full two days. With the exception of a full typhoon, the Festival will continue rain or shine and organizers have prepared rain/shade tents and seating for everyone’s comfort in various weather conditions.
The Compass Festival site is located by the open space and parking lot on Taiwan Boulevard between Top City (251, Taiwan Blvd., Sec. 3, Xitun Dist.) and HuiZhong Road, Sec. 1 (see map), with plenty of convenient nearby parking and public-bus connections. For the latest updates on the 2019 Compass Festival, check the “Compass Food & Music Fest 2019” Facebook event page.
Don’t drink and drive