J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival Contributes $145 Million To Raleigh, North Carolina’s Economy

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 22: J. Cole performs onstage during the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 22, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

It all started with a dollar and a dream. 

J. Cole and Dreamville released the Dreamville Festival’s 2023 Economic Impact Report today. The report shows a total economic impact of $145.9 million and created an equivalent of 1,300 full-time jobs at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Angelou Economics authored the 2023 festival impact report, which included contributions from Live Nation, Visit Raleigh, and the City of Raleigh.

Dreamville Festival is an annual outdoor music festival launched in 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The festival takes place each spring at the historic Dorothea Dix Park, serving as Dreamville’s signature event for fans worldwide.

This year’s lineup includes headlining performances by SZA, 50 Cent, Nicki Minaj, and J. Cole. The 2024 lineup features sets by the hottest acts in modern hip hop, such as J.I.D., Schoolboy Q, Lil Yachty, Key Glock, and Rae Sremmurd. The festival, which attracts visitors from around the world, is North Carolina’s largest annual event.

“Dreamville Festival brings visitors from all over the world, and they create a lot of excitement and energy in Raleigh,” said Evan Raleigh, Assistant City Manager for Raleigh. “While we are sad when the festival concludes and the artists and the crowds leave, their celebration creates a positive and lasting impact for our City.”

Dreamville Festival co-founder Adam Roy supported Raleigh’s statement with, “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. Thank you to Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, and, of course, our Dreamville fans worldwide.”

The festival had a significant impact on the local economy, with the greatest boost seen in hotel, food and beverage, and ground transportation sectors. Wake County hotel occupancy also increased by 2.6% from last year, reaching 94% on the Saturday night of the festival. The number of rooms sold also increased, with the highest increase observed on the night of Sunday, April 2, up by 11.7% from the same day last year.

“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!”

Dreamville Festival is hosting live performances from two dozen musicians this weekend alongside more than 75 food vendors, muralists, artisans, nonprofits, and other small businesses.