Updated Apr 8, 2024 - Culture

What's next for the Dreamville Festival in Raleigh

J Cole Dreamville Festival

J. Cole at Dreamville Festival 2024. Photo: Astrida Valigorsky/WireImage

J. Cole left many Dreamville fans uncertain over the weekend with his repeated comments regarding how many Dreamville Festivals he's got left.

Why it matters: Dreamville has become one of the state's premier cultural events. It draws thousands of festival-goers annually and pumps millions of dollars into the local economy.

Catch up quick: The fourth year of the Dreamville Festival, which featured headliners like J. Cole and Nicki Minaj, was held in Raleigh's Dorothea Dix Park April 6-7.

  • "I don't know how many more Dreamville Festivals I got in me," Cole repeated on stage in between songs, drawing a mix of boos and gasps from the crowd.
  • It's unclear whether Cole, a Fayetteville native, was referring generally to the future of the festival he started in 2019, or his role as a performing artist.

Here are three factors that we're watching that could affect the festival's future:

Expectations

Huge artists like Drake and Usher headlined last year, prompting attendees this year to speculate about surprise guest performances. Drake brought out Lil Wayne last year, for instance.

  • While J. Cole did pull some guest artists on stage, many popular songs that normally feature artists like 21 Savage and Drake didn't include guest appearances this year.

Lineup adjustments

Chris Brown and Muni Long were replaced with 50 Cent and Hunxho days before the festival. Many attendees thought the artist change was a joke since it was announced on April Fools Day. Some disappointed ticketholders left comments under the posted announcement that read "I don't want to go anymore."

  • Other comments expressed disappointment with the genre switch of the artist.

Revenue

The festival makes a huge impact on the economy. The spending of roughly 100,000 Dreamville attendees last year had an economic impact of $122 million for Wake County. Cole said that he was grateful for the support, but he reminded the audience that the event is not guaranteed.

What's next: Festival organizers have not formally announced whether the festival will return in 2025.

  • But the festival posted "See you next year!" on X.
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