The Total Record Swap is organized by a handful of music fans who were interested in a vibrant record show in Missoula, and wanted it to be a benefit for our beloved local nonprofit movie theater, the Roxy. The Total Record Swap had its debut in 2017 and featured about 20 vendors from Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington. We had just under 500 paid attendees. Before 2017, we were a part of Total Fest, hosted by the Big Dipper.
Total Fest was a DIY music festival that happened in Missoula for fourteen years, beginning in 2002 and going through 2015. A bunch of folks helped with different elements of that, and about four or five years in, Bryan Ramirez and Julie Tompkins started curating the Total Record Swap in the Big Dipper parking lot, which ran for at least ten years (we think).
It was a hit, and we had bands play it, folks gave haircuts, bands played, people ate ice cream and bought and traded records, tapes and CDs, (and sometimes musical instruments, etc.) It was a lot of fun, and one of the parts of Total Fest that many of us miss the most. So, in late 2016 five or so folks (music fans, record collectors) decided to see if we could put our heads together and do a solid record swap. We decided to keep the name Total Record Swap, to honor the past, but now because we have to pay rent, we have a small vendor and door fees, and do this as a charitable event. 2017's Swap benefited the Roxy Theater which was working on bringing back some of the original Art Deco design to the building, and who generally speaking are a great institution.