Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Total Fest started with a relatively simple idea: put together an awesome show that you remembered for a long time. This is the poster from that first show in 2002. It happened somewhat by chance because some of my favorite bands (the Champs, Drunk Horse.. and I think Last of the Juanitas) were touring together. I decided that those bands could fill most of a room, why not try to get a few awesome locals, add Federation X and Japanther, ask everybody to play short sets, start early and make it something memorable. I think that formula has remained a constant, actually. The name Total Fest really came after the lineup was secured, when the need for a poster demanded something. I used to name a lot of shows, so people would assume they were something other than just a show, and maybe decide to attend because of that. My Yakima friends, Sharif and Frank were in Missoula, and they burned silkcreens, made an image and printed up some shirts in my basesment, so there were commemorative shirts from the first one too.

The name was inspired by this kind of jokey "total music" riff that Tim Green and Tim Soete were using at the time to describe what the Champs were doing. I don't remember the actual night terribly well, other than it went pretty fast, had some of my all-time favorite bands and we made enough money to pay everybody pretty well (Montana money, it was modest) and we barbecued before hand and maybe went swimming too. After that, the expectation just kind of started to be out there. People would say "are you doing another one of those?" so we moved it to two nights, and used the upstairs and downstairs of Jay's, and Julie made the first actual passes. Laminated with luggage tags enclosures.

2015 will mark the fourteenth and final Total Fest. It will happen August 20-22 here in Missoula. It's going to be an awesome lineup. More on that soon. I have a long list of reasons for ending it, largely it's things like looking at Camp Daze and the ZACC and seeing two great examples of the kind of things that I hoped my town would have some day. I really encourage supporting both those things if you like what Total Fest is about. They're two all-ages friendly, noncommercial, weirdness-encouraged institutions that I hope will be around for a long time to come. When I think about the hundreds of bands, great parties, swims and shows, awesome stack of posters and shirts, I have a lot of great memories and I think that's a good stopping point. Total Fest is a lot of work, and it's a shared labor of love for those of us who raise money, work with venues, program a lineup, write it up, etc. At the end of the day, we do Total Fest because we are music fans, just like the folks who come and play, and who pay to get in or who support in hundreds of other ways.

At some point, there probably will be something new, but it won't be for a while and who knows what exactly it will look like. Thanks everybody for all of the memories, let's have one more this August!


Josh (Vanek)

Please also note that Total Fest gets a % of every beer sold between 5 and 8PM tonight at Draughtworks Brewery in Missoula. that's Tuesday, April 14th.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Total Family,

Hello! We've been a little too quiet for a little too long. Allow me to dispel some of your fears: Total Fest XIV will take place on August 20-22 at the ZACC, Badlander / Palace, and Big Dipper.

Until then, please join us this Tuesday, April 14th for our Cheers for Charity event at Draught Works Brewery. 50 cents from every pint sold between 5pm and 8pm will directly benefit Total Fest, allowing us to keep the event all ages, provide the soundtrack to your summer, and bring together all those folks you haven't hugged in a year.

There. Breathe. Step away from the ledge. Arise from the bunker. Stop stirring the Kool-Aid. Save the pills for a later date. Relax.

After thirteen years, we handled submissions a little differently this year. Like most years, each committee member targeted a handful or two bands and depended on word-of-mouth. Unlike past years, we didn't have an official open-submission period. There are pros and cons to each method, but, frankly, we attempted to simplify some of the process. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. Either way, submissions are officially closed, and we're assembling the line-up, preparing to launch pass sales, and gearing up for another fun-filled Missoula summer.

What do we have in store for you?

That's right. Our favorite duo from the other hemispheres, Jem and Jace, have purchased tickets and are plotting out the details right now. We're super stoked to have them back.

For now, we'll allow them to speak for themselves. Stay Tuned

Friday, April 10, 2015


While these dudes won't unfortunately be there, most of us will. And maybe that means fewer fights? Less having to talk about the trollmetal genre with close-talking metal bros, you know?

And we'll have some CD comps of total fest bands over the years.  Harteis is making those.

Draughtworks, Cheers for Charity benefiting Total Fest.
Date: Tuesday, April 14th. 5:00-8:00 PM
Missoula, Montana.

Did we mention that the fourteenth Total Fest will happen August 20-22? Welp, it will.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mikki's Top 10 for Total Fest

Mikki Lunda's Top 10-ish bands she's most excited to see at Total Fest XIII:

(in particular order)

1. Greco- Fri. 8pm, Palace
I hear from a reliable source that he wears a full-body-tiger-print-cat-suit, when he plays live.  And he's a bigger shameless self promoter than I am. All of his songs are about how rad he is.
[Editor's Note: You can listen to a couple of his tracks here at the Total Fest band camp.]

2. Obnox- Thurs. 9:15, ZACC
Dane Hansen (Bad Naked) told me "you can't miss this set."

3. Shannon & the Clams- Thur. 10:45pm, ZACC
I love this band's live energy. I've seen them bunches of times and they still made my top 3, that's saying something.

4. Underground Railroad to Candyland- Fri. 9:45pm, Palace
Last month I played with these guys in Pomona, CA. They are a party on stage, super fun to watch and are super tight. (multiple drummers)

5. j sherri- Sat. 12pm, Big Dipper
I'm just going to come right out and say it. These hotties have been my favorite local band for the last 2 years. I'm stoked to see them in the HOT HOT summer sun while licking a melty ice cream.

6. Woolen Men- Thur. 8pm, ZACC
I've never seen them live, but I NEED YOU TO KNOW: I really dig their sound.

7. Toupee- Sat. 8pm, Badlander
My pop idol, Richard Album, was in town last week and he said "in Chicago, anyone with our musical integrity will have this band on their list of favorites". I trust that.

8. Dreamsalon- Fri. 10pm, Palace
I've never seen them live, but I NEED YOU TO KNOW: I really dig their sound.

9. Kitten Forever, Sat. 10:15pm, Badlander
This band does it right. How they figured out how to transition instruments like that, is a straight up miracle.

10. Wimps- Sat. 9:15pm, Badlander
I've never seen them live, but I NEED YOU TO KNOW: I really dig their sound.

11. Dear Rabbit- Sat. 12:35pm, Big Dipper
Love his stage persona, he has a great booming voice and I'm impressed by people who can play 2 instruments at once. (Accordion/ trumpet)

12. Chemical Lawns- Fri. 8pm, Badlander
Another of my FAV locals.

Wowie, I can't wait to see all these amazing bands and more!
See you all there!
- Mikki "internet" Lunda

Check out Kate's Top 10 for Total Fest over at Missoula Punk News and Tom "T. Money" Helgerson's Top 10 over at Weird Missoula.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Any band that self applies the term "dirt rock" is okay in our book, and Chicago, IL's Lil Tits are one (and maybe the only) such band. They're touring with Toupee out to Total Fest.

Their tunes remind me of Julia Cafritz, Kim Gordon, and stuff like Ciccone Youth and Pussy Galore. Aggressive, cruddy and totally blasting.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I swear it wasn't intentional, but we've seemed to hold off til the end on announcing the bands with the most ridiculous names. Rounding out the last few of our Total Fest performers are Portland's GAYTHEIST.

The amazingly named trio comes from Good to Die Records, the Seattle-based clearing house for the heavy sounds of the Northwest that has brought us TF vets like Sandrider and Constant Lovers. If the name wasn't an indication of their commitment to the absurd, these guys are a pretty off-the-wall bunch set on ruining your day.

A frenzy of maniacal drumming, guitar wizardry, and a hysteric, foul-mouthed (though very well-dressed) vocalist, Gaytheist churns out songs like "Post Apocalyptic Lawsuit" and "Wisdom of the Asshole" that have this whole Big Biz meets a 4-pack of Sparks and a packet of Pop Rocks sort of vibe. It's too bad that Fantasy for Adults on Main isn't on our list of venues for this year - it might just be the perfect place to witness this madness go down. Our whole all ages thing might be a problem though, so you kids will just have to settle for the Palace.