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Dreamville Festival Expects Record-breaking Revenue in 2023

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
With artists like Drake and Usher leading the way in a star-studded lineup, the J. Cole-ran festival should bring a ton of business to the Raleigh area.

The Dreamers return to Raleigh, NC, on Saturday with their signature event, Dreamville Festival. This year’s festival is equipped with arguably its biggest stars yet, as Drake, Usher, Burna Boy, Summer Walker, Lil Durk, City Girls, and more will take the stage.

In 2019, Dreamville Fest brought over 40,000 people to the City of Oaks. Last year, the festival brought 80,000 people out to the two-day event. This year, Dreamville expects to break records once again with an eye on eclipsing the 100,000 mark in hopes that an additional 10K more attend per day.

With more people in attendance, the revenue from the event is expected to grow as well. 2019 saw the festival bring nearly $3.8 million to Raleigh, while last year’s event nearly doubled that number at $6.7 million. This year, festival organizers anticipate an 18% increase to $7.9 million.

“If we stay the course and 80% of the ticket holders are tied to out-of-market, those are directly tied to visitor spending,” said Loren Gold, Visit Raleigh’s executive vice president of administration and operations in a phone interview. “Visitor spending is hotel revenue, restaurant revenue, retail revenue, and transportation revenue.”

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A quick look at Expedia.com shows that a good portion of the hotels in the Raleigh-Durham area are sold out. Residences that aren’t sold out on Expedia have an average price of $428.20 per night.

“I’ve spoken to a couple of our downtown hotels. They sold out in two to three hours as soon as Drake, Usher and the rest of the lineup were revealed. It became anything and everything for out-of-town guests to come to Raleigh to find a room,” Gold said.

Dreamville Fest also gives attendees a reason to get to Raleigh early with the Amazon Music and Dreamville collaborating to bring Rotation’s 50 & Forever hip-hop celebration. The day will start at noon ET and end at 9 p.m. with appearances from Ari Lennox, Bas, Ib Hamad, Elite, 9th Wonder, Timbaland, JetsonMade, and many more. One could argue that excitement for the festival is already through the roof as all but one item from merchandise available for pre-order are sold out.

“The city of Raleigh revolves around events like this,” Gold said. “We don’t have one iconic thing like a Golden Gate Bridge, Statue of Liberty or a physical thing but what we do have is passionate-minded people that curate this experience for residents and visitors. I would put J. Cole, Adam and the Dreamville team’s vision right in there with everything that speaks to what Raleigh is. The global eyes that are on this event in addition to all the media that comes makes this one of the top events in the state.

For fans who cannot attend, Dreamville Fest will be available to stream on the Amazon Music channel on Twitch.

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About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom specializing in sports business and music. He previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester, and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" -- Hampton University — is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.