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The LocarnoFolk Association, based in Locarno, was founded in 2014 with the aim of spreading and promoting popular or folk-inspired music in the Canton of Ticino.

It all began in 2012 thanks to Barbara Knopf and Pietro Bianchi, who founded the LocarnoFOLK Festival, a summer event hosted in various locations in Locarno, including Piazza S. Antonio and for three years the Teatro Paravento.

In 2016 the festival moved to the evocative setting of Orselina Park, having in the meantime enriched itself with screenings, music and dance workshops.

Since 2015 the association has also proposed a season of concerts between winter and spring, dedicated to popular music in its various forms, even in a more modern guise: the LocarnoFOLK Events.

In 2017, the musical offer of this season as well as of the festival widened again when the association married popular dances and started to propose dance concerts as well.

The last edition of the festival took place in 2018. For mainly financial reasons, the future of the open-air summer event remains uncertain.

On the other hand, the association continues with the organisation of the LocarnoFOLK Events, now divided into two seasons of 3-5 concerts each: Winter Fest and Spring Fest. Dance or music workshops and didactic concerts can complete the musical proposals.

Today, ten years after the birth of the LocarnoFOLK Festival, the association wishes to increase the support of members and donors, united in a common passion and in the aim of consolidating and expanding the activities to promote folk music and dance in Ticino. Only with new forces, new ideas and new resources will it be possible to continue along the path taken a decade ago.

The LocarnoFolk Association Committee is currently composed as follows: Barbara Knopf, President; Gabriela Milicevic Decker, Vice-President; Ana Camponovo, Cashier; Vacant, Secretary.

Barbara Knopf, President and Artistic Director

Raised in a French-speaking environment, she graduated in musicology, French literature, and media science at the University of Zürich, where she also attended ethnomusicology seminars. At the same time, she studied transverse flute and the piano at the Zurich Conservatory.
Her interest in traditional music led her to work as an editor, producer and chief editor of popular music programs at the swiss german radio station SF DRS, and to regularly write articles on the subject for the Winterthur newspaper "Landbote".
She then trained as a journalist and worked for the Swiss telegraph agency (ATS) and the romando newspaper "Les Temps" and put her experience in communication to fruit, working as an advertiser and PR manager for the Bach Collegium Zürich.
She has been living in Ticino since 2009 and in 2012, together with Pietro Bianchi founded the LocarnoFolk Festival. For many years they also played together the popular music of Ticino and Insubria (flute, bagpipes, voice), together also with Carlo Bava and Diego Orelli.
Adults trainer and interpreter, she teaches German and French and has been a collaborator of the swiss intercultural interpreters association, INTERPRET.
Since 2021, she is Head of public relations for the Foundation Sion Violon Musique.
She plays the musette (bagpipe from central France) in La Piccola Banda di Cornamuse led by Gabriele Coltri. In 2016 she also approached French Balfolk.

Gabriela Milicevic Decker, Vice-President

She studied French language and literature as well as history and currently teaches these two subjects at the Berufsmaturitätsschule in Zurich.
She lives in the cultural city of Winterthur, where she has been committed to a fairer, more solidary and sustainable world for years.
She is the mother of two children who are now young adults.
Music has always accompanied her and is an important part of her life. In her family, she was influenced and fascinated by folk music, especially by her father's Ganga (traditional polyphonic singing - from Herzegovina, among other regions), which gave her access to "world music".
During the first edition of the LocarnoFOLK Festival in 2012, she was on site as a volunteer.
Today, she is happy to be involved again - this time as a member of the Board - and thus contribute to keeping this great association alive and diversifying the music scene.


Ana Camponovo, Treasurer

She is a very curious person of nature, everything that is the discovery of the different or the unknown fascinates her. Precisely for this reason, thanks to her dynamic and energetic personality, she has many dreams and makes sure not to leave them in the drawer ... challenging herself!

She is a 100% mother, but in her free time she dedicates herself to one of her greatest passions: theatre. She is currently the director of a theatre company of adults and is also committed to bringing children and young people closer to this discipline.

Vacant, Secretary


  • IBAN: CH34 8080 8001 7376 3324 2 Associazione LocarnoFOLK 6600 Locarno