Celebrate the fusion of style and sound at Columbus' first-ever FMMF

What's missing in Columbus?

To Bret Adams, the answer was simple: a music festival.

Adams, a local lawyer who represents the New Albany band New Hollow, was returning from a trip to Austin's SXSW festival when the idea surfaced.

His involvement with the Columbus Sports Commission (he's on the board of commissioners) and his connections with Experience Columbus aided him in realizing the dream.

But something needed to be different-to set it apart from Coachella and Lollapalooza and SXSW.

So he threw in fashion.

The first-ever Fashion Meets Music Festivalis slated for Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-31. It includes an endless list of activities and performances celebrating the fusion of style and sound, all taking place in and around the Arena District. Tickets will be anywhere between $10 and $250. Entrance to some events will be free.

The line-up (for both bands and brands) hasn't been announced yet-that's coming in late March. But the festival will have plenty of ways to get connected with the local music and style community, including the Getting Dressed to a Soundtrack Facebook app, which will allow you to submit a photo of your outfit with the caption being a song that inspires your style.

It'll also have a Fashion Meets Fitness race, a marketplace, a gondola, ziplines and plenty more to do, see and buy.

We talked with Adams, co-founder, and Melissa Dickson, FMMF communications director, about what makes Columbus the perfect fit for the fest.

-Taylor Starek, @taylorstarek

You could've paired music with plenty of other entertainment elements, but you chose fashion-why?

Bret Adams: We chose fashion because Columbus is the headquarters for L Brands and Abercrombie. We employ over 500 designers in the city. We have the third largest number of employees in the fashion industry behind New York and L.A., and to us, it seemed a natural fit. And not only that-it was a differentiation from other music festivals. No one in the country has put together what we've put together. And with that also came the idea of the FMMF marketplace. It was a natural for us to merge fashion and music into the Convention Center.

What will be included in the marketplace?

Melissa Dickson: What you typically don't see at festivals is the opportunity to have a consumer area. So what we've done is we've occupied 118,000 square feet of the Convention Center, and we're making it into a lifestyle shopping experience where we're creating our FMMF retail marketplace, where our attendees can truly shop their favorite brands. They can also see their favorite music brands within that experience. It's truly creating a different experience for our festival-goers and just really elevating those brands to a more personal and intimate level within the fashion marketplace.

How are you going about incorporating brands?

MD: Currently we are doing designer-casting calls both locally and regionally. If any local designers or brands are interested, they can reach out to us on our website: fmmf.us. And go to the Connect page. And from Connect, you can reach out to fashion@fmmf.us and from there they can be considered in terms of being involved in the designer aspect.

Getting Dressed to a Soundtrack sounds like fun-what does that involve?

MD: We're trying to find unique ways we can truly engage our demographic, and one of those ways would be through social media channels. Getting Dressed to a Sound Track truly worked within our brand. So there's going to be different Facebook applications that Getting Dressed to a Soundtrack will be applied for, and we'll give away gift cards for shopping experiences leading up to and during the festival. So it's truly bringing that fusion of music and fashion to life and making you think twice when you're getting dressed about what you're listening to and bringing that more on a digital platform.

What about the Fashion Meets Fitness element?

BA: We're actually going to do a 4-miler on Saturday morning, which will start at the marketplace and end at the marketplace. But it really emphasizes the fitness and fashion element. We'll do things to encourage runners to utilize the fashion platform, and we'll create some contests and some things that'll make that a different type of running race.

What makes Columbus the right city for this festival?

BA: Columbus has been looking for an identity. I think a lot of people have talked about fashion and music but have really never identified that with Columbus, and I think this festival will identify Columbus with music and fashion very much like Austin is with music. And we have what Austin doesn't have: fashion. And another thing we have is three world-class venues on the same block [Nationwide Arena, Huntington Park and the LC] and the coolest park in America to put a stage on, which is McFerson Commons.