Moon&Stars is the music festival that brings the stars of pop, rock and rap, as well of tens of thousands of visitors, to Locarno. The festival’s Food&Music Street makes the atmosphere really special, with its bars, food trucks and plenty of completely free concerts. Moon&Stars is not just music and it’s not just a festival; it’s an experience to be lived to the max.
Ten days on the moon
For the ten days of the Moon&Stars festival, Locarno is like a different world. Not just because the closed road makes the town centre more intimate for pedestrians to navigate, but because this feeling of intimacy combines with the presence of so many new people: festival novices, devoted festival-goers and chance visitors alike. The views from the big wheel on the lakeside by Piazza Grande also offer a glimpse of another dimension. It’s a bit like being on the moon, but a moon full of people, partying, laughter, music and everything the summer has to offer. It couldn’t be any other time but July, when the sun shines high in the sky and a refreshing aperitif between an afternoon swim in the lake and a late dinner calls out our name from the bar. Oh, and then there are the chips! I can never resist a portion of chips.
4 pm – A snack on Food&Music Street
After spending an afternoon amid the peace and quiet of the lake or pottering around the region, I always want to see a bit of life. Although the earliest Moon&Stars evening concerts start at 6 pm, the festival always has plenty more surprises in store. There’s no doubt that music takes centre stage, but the Food&Music Street has become an unmissable attraction and gets into full swing from 4 pm.
When the time comes, I set off for Largo Zorzi, right before Piazza Grande, which is literally taken over by people high on life.
It might be because of the expectant diners peeking curiously at the menus displayed by the many food trucks, it might be because of the bunting and lights hanging over the road, or because of the chips (if you love them, you love them and there’s nothing you can do about it!) or the ice cream, but strolling through here as the street begins to fill up and the musicians start to appear on stage in Piazza Grande brings a rush of happiness, particularly when night falls and the fun gets serious.
8 pm – Admiring the stars in Piazza Grande
Depending on the day, the concerts in Piazza Grande begin at 6 pm (if there are three concerts scheduled) or at 8 pm (if there are only two concerts on the bill). Of course, the most popular concert is the one that starts at 9.45 pm, when the sun finally hides behind the mountains and Moon&Stars lights up with a thousand coloured lights.
Seen from a privileged spot from the VIP zone or the stage (now we can be jealous of the artists!), the Piazza Grande is crowded with people lit by the lights of the stage, with their hands raised in an ovation for the star of the moment and the obligatory photos.
It’s an incredible show! It really makes you want to be there, enjoying the music until the very end, listening to your favourite star live and discovering a new passion for an artist you’ve never heard before.
Midnight – High in the sky
When night falls, even the Food&Music Street takes on a completely different appearance with a nightlife all of its own. It may just be a street, but when the festival is on it’s the liveliest place in town.
And there, in the background, the unmissable, bright Moon&Stars Ferris wheel stands out against the sky and the outline of the lake. For me, it’s like a moth to a flame, because it glitters in the night and is beautiful. But regardless of all this, there’s no doubt you have to go for a ride to complete the experience of this incredible festival and see the town and its lights from above, as well as the tiny people teeming in the streets. This is my Moon&Stars experience. And how do you spend your days during this fantastic music festival? Share your favourite moments on social media with #myasconalocarno and don't forget to tag us!
Alix | 28 years Nosce te ipsum
I'm a bookworm, I love everything about art, literature, cinema, music, history and tradition. Ascona-Locarno adopted me just over a year ago, and since then I am learning to know and appreciate the region in all its beauty.