Thu, Apr 27, 2017 - Page 13 News List

Music fest to raise money for kids

Chopfest will also pay tribute to Simon Mowforth, who was also known as Dr Chop

By John Evans  /  Contributing reporter

Concertgoers spell out the name “Simon” with sparklers at last year’s Chopfest.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Merriman

Anybody can give himself a nickname. But for it to stick, that’s something special.

Guitarist Simon Mowforth once half-jokingly dubbed himself Dr Chop — and lo and behold the moniker stuck.

“His guitar was quick and clean,” said Mowforth’s former bandmate, Shaun Armstrong.

Now in its third year, Chopfest charity music festival will celebrate the life of Mowforth, who died in 2015 at the age of 31 from an undiagnosed heart condition. The festival, featuring acoustic guitarists, rock bands and a DJ, will be held on Saturday at the Community Center near Taichung’s Metropolitan Park.

The money raised will go to two charities in central Taiwan: Hong Yu Social Welfare Foundation, which helps children with developmental disabilities, and Taichung Warm Breeze Caring Society, which provides after school support to needy children.

Organizers hope to match last year’s take of NT$150,000, much of which was donated to a local orphanage.

“Simon loved Taiwan,” said Jessica Hopkins, a festival organizer. “He wanted to help the community.”

Along with Armstrong and Hopkins, festival organizers include Tim Tucker, a former bandmate of Mowforth’s.

The festival starts at 11am, with music kicking off at 1pm. With singer-songwriters at the top of the lineup, the daytime will have a family-friendly vibe, said Hopkins, adding that as night falls it will take on a livelier, rock show atmosphere.

Headlining the festival will be The ShapeMaster, comprised of Mowforth’s former bandmates. With Mowforth, their band was called The Ever So Friendlies.

“We have less guitar; we’re [now] more experimental,” Armstrong said of the new band.

And while the music has evolved, friends will look back in tribute to Mowforth, who by all accounts was a reserved and down-to-earth man, but with an electrifying onstage persona.

Performance Notes

WHAT: Chopfest, featuring live music by The Cuervos, Ape Apocalypse, The ShapeMaster, 大Meta4, .22, Moss, The SoSos, The Zero Filters, Alan McIvor, Lauren Leach and a DJ: The Reverend.

WHEN: Saturday at 11am (music starts at 1pm)

WHERE: Community Center (熊肯作文創園區), 181 Xitun Rd, Sec 3, Taichung City (台中市西屯路三段181號)

ADMISSION: NT$500 in advance; NT$600 on Saturday



Still, it was Mowforth’s humbleness people mention first.

Take the time he was walking home in his native town of Chesterfield, England. Passing a homeless man on the sidewalk, Mowforth simply decided to give the needy man his shoes.

“He walked home with his socks on,” said Armstrong. “Simon had a heart of gold.”

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