Fashion Meets Music Festival attracts OU students and Athens music talent.
With more than 160 bands and upwards of 40 fashion designers dispersed throughout Columbus, the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival will kick off Friday for three nights of entertainment.
The festival is one inspired by South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, wrote founder Bret Adams in a note in the official FMMF magazine. And that influence is evident in the festival’s organization.
What sets Fashion Meets Music apart from larger events such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, is the free music on three outdoor stages at McFerson Commons, the intersection of Nationwide Avenue and High Street and at Nationwide Plaza. National and local bands will share the stage, featuring headliners O.A.R., Local Natives, Cold War Kids and Switchfoot and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, all performing for free.
“On a trip to South by Southwest, I was overwhelmed at the sense of camaraderie and enjoyment the citizens of Austin gave off. I thought ‘why not us?’” Adams wrote in the magazine.
The Greater Columbus Convention Center will be converted into a “Retail Marketplace” where a runway will be set-up for fashion shows. Retailers will sell their latest designs, and acoustic performances and educational panels from experts in both industries will be held.
One such panel is called “Honoring the Past, Building the Future” music panel and will discuss building a stronger music scene in Columbus, said Mason Entingh, content director for FMMF and a junior studying creative writing at Ohio University.
The music will start at 5 p.m. on Friday and each night will go through 10:45 p.m. However, once the music outside is through, the night is far from over — official after parties will also feature national and local acts, several of which have connections to Athens.
A $35 pass gets festivalgoers entrance to all of the after-party shows and allows people to cut the lines to get into any of the six after-party locations.
Entingh said FMMF was a perfect thing for OU students looking for something to do this Labor Day weekend.
“The outdoor music is all free so you can show up and you can party outside. (The festival) allows for open container, I mean that's a big deal for OU students I imagine,” Entingh said. “ If you're into music, there's not too much to complain about.”
Athens’ own Sassafraz will play outside Sunday night. Old Hundred, which is performing at The Basement on Saturday night have recorded its two most-recent releases at Athens’ 3 Elliot Studios. Funk act MojoFlo regularly performs in Athens and plays a Friday night after-party at Park Street Patio and will close out the Cox stage Saturday on the corner of Nationwide and High.
Same with Angela Perley & Howling Moons. Perley went to school at OU and lived in Athens a year after, which was when her band began to come together, she said.
Perley said her band was approached by the festival and she loved the idea of performing because of the combination of two of her interests — fashion and music.
“I really love fashion, that's a big part my life just as much as music, it really seemed like a unique festival to be in,” she said.
She said the announcement of R. Kelly as a headliner was a surprise, but after FMMF dropped him earlier in the summer because of social media backlash and the departure of Saintseneca and Damn the Witch Siren the band felt more comfortable about its place in the festival.
“I feel like (FMMF) learned what Columbus wants, so I’m excited,” Perley said. “I feel like there’s a lot of really good people involved there, trying to do a positive thing. I’m actually more excited for next year to see what happen.”
Next year, the Fashion Meets Music Festival will be held September 4-6.