Moon & Stars 2017 at Piazza Grande

Dolce vita and dolce fa niente in Ticino -yes, it’s beautiful in Locarno. And when the Moon & Stars with the new Piazza Piccola, even nicer.

From 14 to 22 July 2017 the annual music festival took place again. The last time I was at this festival 6 years ago, back then at Bryan Adams’ concert. Two weekends I spent now in Locarno at Moon & Stars. Once with my friend from Sunday to Tuesday to see the concert of Trauffer and Gölä. The next time a week later from Friday to Saturday, to see concerts at Piazza Piccola.

Have you been to the festival at one of the days?

You could easily spend two weeks at the festival. So many great concerts take place at Piazza Grande, on main stage, as well as on the new small stage at Piazza Piccola. But then I’d need to immediately start saving 😉 With ticket prices between CHF 90 and CHF 150 so many concerts would cost quite something. Besides, in this time the hotels and accommodations are damns expensive (the earlier you book the better of course and who likes camping might save some money). But for 1-2 weekends it worked out very well. Holidays. Music holidays ♥.

Almost directly from the Michael Patrick Kelly concert in Tuttlingen the day before, I was off to Locarno on Sunday. But what to do, if your head almost explodes on a Sunday afternoon due to head aces and sickness? Migraine wasn’t far and of course I had nothing against the pain.

Locarno being a touristic place, you’d actually think there was an open pharmacy on Sunday? The emergency pharmacy you had to find first. So I quickly went to the festival paramedics. They were super friendly and helpful. With a little Italian from me and a little English from them the communication worked somehow. And after about half an hour I was fit again and absolutely ready for the festival days.



Noo, we didn’t just sit in front of the concert area all day. Especially at the first weekend we also went exploring the town. On the one side by foot, on the other side with a tour in the small blue’n’white train. For CHF 8 it took you around Locarno for about 30mins.

Though we quickly discovered that the town is rather small and not too interesting. For example we went along the lakeside and within a short distance we were already in Muralto. Does this mean, Locarno’s Train station isn’t directly in Locarno’s town? Looked like this… 😉

We liked the old town best with the narrow, crooked streets and the many small shops. But the tour with the small train was still nice and very relaxing. Unhurried it was chugging across the place. In this heat it is best to stay at the lake anyway.

Don’t get me wrong. It is absolutely great in Locarno, but sightseeing-wise there are sure more interesting places.

Piazza Grande

Whilst Piazza Grande is a public place, surrounded by apartments, hotels and restaurants, and accessible for everyone at daytime, we loved standing in front of the stage in the afternoons to watch the soundchecks.

With us many other onlookers gathered at the place. So we not only saw the soundchecks of Trauffer and Gölä, but also the ones by Jamiroquai (sadly without him), Imagine Dragons and Gotthard.

Watch some soundcheck videos here:

Video: Soundcheck Gotthard
Video: Soundcheck Gölä
Video: Soundcheck Trauffer

Soundcheck Trauffer & Gölä

Soundcheck Gotthard

If you are lucky, you meet some musician arriving for soundcheck. The ones let themselves drive in vans or posh BMWs, others arrive in band buses or in their Ferrari. Yes, Xavier Naidoo had quite and entrance (and drove unfortunately – well, somehow as expected – directly down into the underground parking).

At the second weekend I totally accidentally bumped into Dan and Wayne from Imagine Dragons. Something like that sure never happened before to me.

[Photos from left to right: Xavier Nadioo arriving, Marlon B. & Rolf Stahlhofen from Söhen Mannheims, Andreas Bourani after his concert, Jesse Ritch & Gölä before soundcheck, Co Gfeller (Zibbz) before their concert, Dan & Wayne from Imagine Dragons, Marc Storace from Krokus]

Cheers for Bourani

We visited the concert of Trauffer and Gölä on Monday, arrived on Sunday already though. Our BnB was situated in a way, we could watch the concert of Andreas Bourani from the balcony on the screen. Because there were already some preparations for the filmfestival made, the stage was now for the first time a bit closer and so we could see the screen.

Once again it was a great concert by him and his band. How I love his songs: “Auf uns”, “Wieder am Leben”, “Astronaut” and next to “Nur in meinem Kopf” many others of course. Also here he jumped down into the audience, dancing and jumping with the visitors, even taking some selfies. Totally likable. I really have to go to one of his concerts soon again.

On the second weekend I also have been listening to a part (about 30mins) of the Imagine Dragons concert. It was so cool how at the end, from about half of “Radioactive” the fireworks went off. Matched so well. At this point they took away the barriers and all the people in front of the entrance hurried into the area for the last moments. So I even caught a glimpse of the band. Have a look at the short video HERE.

The new Golden Circle

This year for the first time there was a Golden Circle at Moon & Stars. We paid CHf 150 for the Trauffer / Gölä concert. No, not exactly cheap. Well, that was CHF 75.00 a band.

But the golden circle proofed to be very handy. After getting food we started queuing about 20mins before doors opened. Golden circle and normal standing had separate entrances. Many realized shortly before, that they were at the wrong entrance and so during admission there were only few people in the queue. So it was actually pretty easy to get into the front.

The concert wasn’t sold out, so golden circle wasn’t too crowded. There was even a separate bar on the side. There you could easily go during the concert and getting back to your spot again. Only one thing hadn’t changed in all these years: The stage is actually way too high to stand front row. They placed drummer and backings on half way into the back, but it still wasn’t too great. We stayed in the front, but generally sight would have been better in the back. Except you would have had someone very tall in front of you.

I also have heard that many people in the normal standing area have complained about golden circle. Probably, because they were further into the back and it wasn’t very cheap. Besides there was the new VIP tower that took quite some space and from behind you could only see the screens. Understandably not too great.

Trauffer yodelling with Piazza Grande

Actually this year in a concert break again, Trauffer are still performing some openairs and festivals this summer. Among them the openair with Andreas Gabalier at Birrfeld, but also the Flumserberg Schlager Openair. Both something I definitively keep away from (yes, I sometimes think that by now some sounds quite close to Schlager. But as long as you don’t mention the word Schlager.. 😉 ). Luckily they also play some “normal” festivals like Moon & Stars with Gölä.

Generally the show of Trauffer was the same as last years tour. Plus minus the same setlist. So the show started with “Trauffer isch zrugg”. They played various of their hits as well as the cover medley again.

The atmosphere on Piazza Grande was phenomenal from the very first tune. Here in Locarno they could even yodel, the Alpentainer mentioned surprised. But it soon proofed, that there were mainly people from German speaking part in Switzerland anyway. So maybe it wasn’t as surprising, when the whole place was yodelling and singing along word by word… 😉 But impressive, that all these people came to Locarno just for the Trauffer / Gölä concert.

Who has seen Trauffer live before, knows, how much energy Marc puts into the show and how crazy it sometimes can get. Because the stage was way too high and he couldn’t just quickly get down to the audience, he simply threw the little snuff boxes into the audience. Many concert visitors even had their own boxes in their pockets to have a snuff with Trauffer. Even worked on distance.

For “Dr Gipfel” even on Piazza Grande they did the “choreography”. It’s known to the most by now.

Or in-between Marc suddenly disappeared off stage to appear shortly after again sidewards on one of the balconies. He clinked glasses with woman up there with one (two, three) glasses of champagnes, before he let the audience sway and sing along to “Müeh mit de Chüeh”. The arms swaying along as well of course. When he was back on stage, he was quite out of breath then.

Great atmosphere. Super concert. The audience would have gone along even longer and didn’t really want to let him go.

Gölä’s giving music

„Gibmr chli Musig“ (give a little music to me) and that’s what Gölä did even more than a year ago at Lakeland Festival in Erlach. Has it been as nice in Erlach as here to listen to the audience singing along in a choir to all his songs, here in the South Gölä did pass on without losing too many words and just let the songs speak.

The setlist a little changed since, I liked it better. But of course even here all the hits couldn’t be missed. Gölä isn’t a very active concert performer. There were a few this year though.

So he and his 8 members band played a mix of some new but especially many of the old songs. They were “Büetzer”, “Uf u drvo”, “Wildi Ross” or “I hätt no viu blöder ta”. The ones everyone knows and loves.

With Background singer Rachel and the audience choir he sang “Indianer”. With Corinne (also known from Zibbz) he rocked my favourite “Ha gmeint i kenn di”. During the beatboxing solo of percussionist Stee (the other part of Zibbz) he even tried to join in.

New with them is Jesse Ritch (Independent musician, but also singer for DJ Bobo) as a third Background singer. With him Gölä was singing the beautiful ballade “Stärne” and in-between the band kept starring with great solos.

Of course “Schwan” couldn’t be missed, what everyone was asking for loudly at the end. We’ll see us again in December 2018 at Hallenstadion, Gölä announced then. It’s when they’ll only play the next concert. Fans of course hope that maybe there will be something additional in-between. But that means to wait and see.

Piazza Grande was cleared quite soon then. Quickly it had to be cleaned, so it was ready the next day for the next concerts again. Was quite fascinating how fast they were, but also kind of shocking how much garbage was laying all over the place.

The whole festival area until up to Piazza Piccola was already empty from maybe around 2 am. So the Party ended quite early, whether during the week or at the weekend. Well, so we got enough sleep and were fit in the morning 😉

About Piazza Piccola I’ll tell you in a separate post. 🙂


More photos of the two concerts you can find here:
Photo gallery Trauffer | Photo gallery Gölä

Videos you can find on my Youtube channel


Links about the festival & bands:


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