On Friday and Saturday night, unbeknownst to the majority of the University of Maine population, one of the coolest student-related activities in recent memories occurred. It all went down at 10 Main Street in Old Town — an unpretentious bar known as The Dime.
Billed as Dimestock, the happening was a two-day concert featuring 15 local bands — everything from ’90s cover bands to a bluegrass-themed group. The bar’s owner, Tim Taylor, said that he had compiled the lineup from artists who had drawn big crowds to the bar in previous performances and that Dimestock was something he had wanted to do for a long time.
The result was something students have wanted, maybe even needed, for years: a possible heir to the spirit of Bumstock.
Bumstock was a music festival held annually on campus for 33 years, until then-Student Body President Derek Mitchell ended the tradition in 2006. The event included nationally known acts, emerging artists and local favorites. Bands such as Godsmack, State Radio, Midtown, Eve 6 and Jeremiah Freed all graced the Bumstock stage.
Throngs of people — 5,000 in one show alone — flocked to Bumstock throughout the years. Drinking was permitted at the event for of-age attendees until 1998. The festival was one of the must-see events in Central Maine.
Bumstock started to change in 2004, when it was reduced from a two-day festival to a one-day event. Then, dwindling attendance and complications with getting big-name acts to come to Orono — anyone remember when Method Man and Redman decided not to show? — resulted in the death of the festival.
Since then, famous acts have come to Orono, but the tons-of-bands-in-one-place feel has been all but abandoned.
Dimestock’s inaugural showing certainly had its share of problems, with some attendees reporting high cover charges and understaffing. But the fact remains that this is a positive step for UMaine and the surrounding community, a start to filling the Bumstock-shaped void in Orono’s heart.