Twenty years of pairing music with social activism erupts for a final time Sunday as the annual Under The Volcano music festival takes to Cates Park in Deep Cove.
“It’s going to be a very emotional day for all of us,” said producer and artistic director Meegan Maultsaid, who has been involved in the festival for the past 15 years.
“We’re passionate about the festival. We love our work. It’s going to be a whole in our lives certainly.”
Pouring rain during last year’s festival hurt attendance and cost the not-for-profit organizers $17,000.
While the financial hit may have exposed the danger of organizing a by-donation concert without corporate sponsorship, Maultsaid said organizers decided to step away from the festival to focus their efforts on a variety of smaller projects based on the same theme of music and activism.
Over the past 20 years, Maultsaid said, the festival “supported the real work of activists” by providing a platform to relay their messages and promote their campaigns.
“The festival is living proof that you can organize in a way that is non-capitalist. And isn’t always relying on big headliner artists. I think and hope that we will be an inspiration and model when people start other events.”
The festival of music, art and social change is named after Malcolm Lowry’s most famous novel, which he wrote while living in a squatter’s cottage up Indian Arm in the 1940s.
The festival has no sponsors and is put on by volunteers. In addition to the music, it has an info fair with 80 to 100 different community groups and offers panel workshops on a variety of local and global issues.