J. Cole, Dreamville festival, North Carolina

J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival Cashes Out $145M Economic Impact For North Carolina

If you haven't experienced Dreamville Festival, now is the time!

Dreamville Festival week is kicking off positively after the 2023 Economic Impact Report revealed its total impact of over $145 million.

The Black-curated music festival, cultivated by North Carolina’s own J. Cole and his entertainment brand, Dreamville, provided 1,327 full-time jobs in numerous spaces. Throughout Wake County, home to North Carolina’s city of Raleigh, the festival brought in over $20 million for local hotels, $18 million in food and beverages, and $9 million in transportation.

The two-day event will take place at Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park. Last year, Dreamville saw a record-breaking crowd of 100,000-plus music lovers from all over the country. In addition to the lineup featuring Black music’s greatest artists like Usher, Ari Lennox, and Drake, Dreamville held the title of the world’s biggest artist-led music festival. 

City executives boast about the energy and money the festival brings to the state and how excited they are about the partnership created with the Dreamville team. “Dreamville continues to be a major driver of visitor direct economic impact to our hotels, restaurants, and retailers throughout Wake County,” said Loren Gold, executive vice president of Visit Raleigh.

“There are high expectations that 2024 will continue to see 80% or more of the tickets held for the two-day festival to be from visitors from all (50) US States and (20+) international countries. A truly global event for Raleigh!”

Since the Dreamville stage was first set up, in 2018, there has been an output of support behind the scenes that is key to the event’s success. From an operational standpoint, $24.1 million was accounted for the total economic impact of the festival in 2023. The report revealed that employees in Raleigh were paid over $7.6 million in labor income thanks to Cole’s innovative festival. 

Cofounder and festival President Adam Roy says watching the growth of the event has been awesome.

“Our team couldn’t be more proud to watch Dreamville Festival grow into what it has become today, although none of this success would be possible without the incredible support of our community,” Roy said. 

“Thank you to Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, and, of course, our Dreamville fans worldwide.”

In anticipation of another record-breaking year, the team is gearing up for the event, scheduled for April 6 and 7.

Organizers have announced another group of food vendors, including Black-owned businesses like food trucks Caribbean Kicker and Southern Comfort Delight, and SameO DameO’s Fish & Grits.

In addition, before hearing the sounds of headliners SZA, Nicki Minaj, and Cole World himself, attendees can view artwork from muralists and support nonprofit organizations and small businesses found all over the Tar Heel State.