The Under the Volcano Festival of Art & Social Change celebrates its 20th anniversary on August 8, but artistic director Meegan Maultsaid said this year’s festival in Deep Cove’s Cates Park is also the last. “It’s from a combination of things,” Maultsaid told the Straight. “For 20 years we’ve been a noncorporate festival, our admissions have always been by donation, but expenses go up. We like to bring international artists, but it costs money to do that. We’re maintaining an accessible community event, but it’s difficult to reconcile those two parts.”
Under the Volcano successfully mingled art and activism with past bills that included acts like Tegan and Sara. When torrential rain cut last year’s attendance in half, UTV lost all its savings.
Still, with Veda Hille and Clann Zú’s Declan de Barra among those confirmed for this year, Maultsaid views the last UTV festival as a celebration. “Twenty years is a long time to keep a noncorporate, volunteer-run festival going,” she said. “It’s not a death, it’s a rebirth. We’re going to keep our society going. We’re certainly going to do other activism and arts events as a brand.”