Rapper J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival scheduled for September in Raleigh’s Dix Park
One month from today, Sept. 15, Fayetteville rapper J. Cole’s inaugural Dreamville Festival will fill Dorothea Dix Park — the first major music festival for the park just west of downtown Raleigh.
Dreamville was announced at the end of April, and some key details have yet to be revealed.
But we’ve been able to suss out a few pieces of key information for the thousands of people who are expected to descend on Raleigh from across the country. (So far, only four states aren’t represented in ticket-buyers. More on that in a bit.)
Festival director Gina Hirsch provided the following information at a community stakeholder meeting Tuesday at NC State’s Centennial Campus.
1. The lineup
The biggest mystery is who will perform, though we’re told an announcement could be soon. Signs are that Cole will headline. After all, he’s a platinum-selling Grammy-nominated artist whose last five albums have all hit No. 1 (not to mention the founder of the whole shebang).
The poster for Cole’s “KOD Tour,” which kicked off Aug. 9 in Miami with Young Thug and Jaden Smith, also has Raleigh on the schedule for Dreamville’s Sept. 15 date — highlighted in purple.
Beyond that, there should be somewhere between 10 and 20 acts performing on two stages. The show will run from noon to 10:30 p.m.
Along with music, the festival will also have food trucks and what Hirsch called “a major visual-art component.” This is a rain-or-shine event.
2. The crowd
About 21,000 Dreamville tickets have been sold so far, Hirsch said, with capacity set for 35,000. About two-thirds of ticket-buyers are from out of town, covering 46 states and Washington, D.C. As of Tuesday night, the only four states missing were Massachusetts, Montana, Vermont and Wyoming.
Outside of North Carolina, the most tickets have been sold in Virginia, New York and California.
Tickets range from $109 up to $449 for VIP packages.
3. Parking and how to get there
Parking and transporting people to the concert site will be a major challenge — especially because SPARKcon, a free weekend-long festival, also is that day in downtown Raleigh. Last year, it drew 84,000 people. Plus, NC State has a home football game that afternoon at Carter-Finley Stadium, about 5 miles west of Dix Park.
There will be no festival parking available on-site at Dix Park, or in the adjacent Boylan Heights and Fuller Heights residential neighborhoods.
Festival management has secured off-site parking at nearby facilities and plans to offer continuous shuttle-bus service to festival attendees, from 10 a.m. to midnight on show day. Hirsch said they are working diligently to finalize transportation plans and will release more information soon.
4. The layout
The main festival site at Dix will be the big field behind the State Farmers Market, with two entrances at the east and west ends, and two main stages. Crews are scheduled to begin fencing off and setting up the site on Sept. 9, with fencing to be completed by Sept. 12. Everything should be cleared out afterward by Sept. 19.
Festival management is working with state and local authorities to come up with an emergency action plan and a crisis communication plan, Hirsch said.
Dreamville management also sent postcards to nearby residents at 7,000 addresses within one mile of the festival site to inform them of the event and to open lines of communication.
5. The causes
Dreamville Festival is a for-profit event, produced by Live Nation subsidiary Scoremore Shows. But it does have a charitable component, with beneficiaries including Dix Park Conservancy, Meals on Wheels, A Better Youth Church Development and Cole’s own Dreamville Foundation.
6. The future
If all goes according to plan, the 2018 Dreamville Festival will be the first of what is envisioned as an annual event. Future editions may include expansion into a multi-day event with more stages, acts and events.
What: Dreamville Festival — 10 to 20 acts on two stages
When: Sept. 15, noon to 10:30 p.m., rain or shine
Where: Dix Park, 101 Blair Drive, Raleigh
Tickets: $109 (general admission) to $449 (VIP)