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Divest UMS features Divest Fest

On April 9, Divest Fest was held alongside the Stillwater River. The event featured great music and an opportunity to support the organizer of the event, the University of Maine’s Divest UMS Club. The event presented performances by five different bands, which included Skyline Drive, Sizzle, Spaced, Midnight Breakfast and Gnocchi. 

The Divest UMS organization is dedicated to encouraging and working towards convincing UMaine to divest its assets in the fossil fuel industry. According to the UMaine website, UMaine is invested in the Managed Investment Pool (MIP), Operating Fund and Pension Fund in the fossil fuel industry. Divest UMS also raises awareness on the broad spectrum for the divestment in fossil fuels.

“Divest [UMS] is a group of students working towards convincing the University of Maine System to divest their money from the fossil fuel industry and to reinvest into a more sustainable and long-term market,” Jess Cleary-Reuning, a second-year marine science student and historian of Divest UMS, said. “We host a semesterly climate strike, lunch-and-learns and other events in addition to Divest Fest.”

Divest Fest had a successful turn out, and was a great opportunity for Divest UMS to spread the word about what their organization does to the community and student body. 

“Divest Fest [was] an opportunity for us to celebrate how far we have come,” Cleary-Reuning said. “It is also a chance for us to raise student awareness and passion about the divestment movement and bring the community together through music, the water and a shared goal.”

While Divest Fest helped raise awareness for Divest UMS, it also helped promote the five bands that performed, and provide the public with a diverse and upbeat music scene.

“It was a great opportunity to catch some really talented bands and get to experience the various sounds of Orono in one event,” Jacob Wall, a fourth-year communications student and the bassist and vocalist for Skyline Drive, said. “The music community has been lacking something like this unfortunately since Bumstock all those years ago. It truly [was] a can’t miss event.”

Skyline Drive consists of four band members, with Wall playing the bass and vocals, Ben Diagneault as the lead singer, Joe Leonard as the guitarist and Adam Chernier on drums.

“Our originals are a mix of indie and a little bit of punk,” Wall said. “We also play some really fun covers. We released three singles on Spotify last month and have been performing almost every weekend!”

To stay up to date on Skyline Drive’s performances and releases, be sure to check out their Instagram page @skyline__drive. 

For updates on what continued efforts Divest UMS is participating in, follow them on their website at and on Instagram @divest_ums.

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