Locarno's festivals
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Most events and festivities take place on Piazza Grande in the summer – the tourist office can give full details and sell tickets. The season kicks off in late May with the “Back Home Again” American music festival, followed in mid-June by a weekend devoted to “I Feel Good”, the Locarno Funk Festival. A couple of weeks later is the popular New Orleans Jazz Festival just 3km down the road in and around the Old Town of Ascona, followed in mid-July by a competition and display of beach volleyball in Piazza Grande.

The world-class Locarno International Film Festival, held over ten days in early August, is stealing a march on Cannes for both movie quality and star appeal, and is now rated among the top five film festivals in the world. Catch major offerings on the huge open-air screen in Piazza Grande, playing to 7500 people nightly (Fr.20), or one of the 12 daily screenings in the city’s cinemas (Fr.14). Fr.200 buys a universal festival pass. For information and listings ahead of time, contact the Festival internazionale del film Locarno, Via della Posta 6, CH-6600 Locarno (091/756 21 21, www.pardo.ch).

Over three weeks in late August and September, Ascona presents its Settimane Musicali (“Music Weeks”), a series of prestigious classical concerts held in various locations around the region.

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