Note: Authored by David Menconi, this piece has been produced in partnership with Raleigh Arts. Menconi's latest book, "Step It Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk," was published in Oct. 2020 by University of North Carolina Press.

We’ve had the “where” and “when” of second-ever Dreamville Festival for a while now: downtown Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park on the weekend of April 2-3. And now, just a month out, we’ve finally got the “who” part of the equation, too. Festival founder, mastermind and headliner J. Cole put the hip-hop festival’s eagerly awaited lineup out via Twitter on March 2, and here’s how it’s going to play out.

Dreamville Festival

Sat., April 2, artist lineup

  • Lil Baby
  • Kehlani 
  • Ja Rule and Ashanti 
  • Blxst 
  • Earthgang 
  • Fivio Foreign 
  • J.I.D 
  • Lute 
  • Mereba 
  • Mikhala Jené 
  • Morray 
  • WizKid  

Dreamville Festival

Sun., April 3, artist lineup

  • J. Cole
  • Ari Lennox 
  • Bas 
  • Bia 
  • Cozz 
  • DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz featuring Lil Wayne, Jeezy and T.I. 
  • J. Cole 
  • Larry June 
  • Moneybagg Yo 
  • Omen 
  • Rico Nasty 
  • T. Pain 
  • The Hics 
  • Wale


The Dreamville Festival’s history goes back to the spring of 2018, when the first edition of the festival was scheduled and announced for Sept. of that year. Hurricane Florence forced postponement to April of 2019, and it was an unqualified smash hit. A sold-out crowd of 40,000 turned out to see performances by an A-list lineup including Cole, Nelly, Big Sean, Teyana Taylor, SZA and hometown star Rapsody.

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic shutdown has made a followup festival difficult. But three years after the first Dreamville, festival management is thinking big with the expanded two-day lineup.




Two-day tickets start at $299.99 for both days, and VIP packages are available. Also on sale now are advance shuttle and parking packages—all ticket and parking options are now on sale at

Dreamville Festival



Official event parking is across street from Dorothea Dix Park on North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus. Parking cost $30 for one day of the event and may be limited in availability. The walk from parking areas to festival entrance is approximately 20 minutes. No overnight parking is allowed.


Other transportation

  • The recommended way of getting to and from Dreamville festival is via the Downtown Shuttle. For a cost of $20 for both days, the shuttle will run from downtown Raleigh's Moore Square and drop off at the festival entrance, running continuously from 10:30am (90 minutes before gates open) to 1am (two hours after the event ends). 
  • Uber and Lyft will have dedicated drop off zones near the festival entrance. 
  • There will be two dedicated bike parking locations (please bring your own lock).
  • Amtrak train service to Raleigh Union Station in downtown Raleigh is available, and a 25% off deal is available to Dreamville attendees. Train service is available from New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., plus a number of cities between Charlotte and Raleigh. 

Dreamville Festival Traffic Map



Dreamville Festival has a list of hotel partners that can be booked here. A full list of downtown Raleigh area hotels can be found here



Dreamville Festival is committed to putting on an accessible event. The following and more will be provided. 

  • The venue has accessible walkways; 
  • There are ADA entry lanes at both festival entrances;
  • There will be two Accessibility Service booths on site to help with questions;
  • There will be accessible viewing areas at music stages.

For any accessibility related questions please email


Visit Spotify's Mount Rushmore of 2010s hip hop mural (featuring J. Cole)

Do J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Nicki Minaj make up the Mount Rushmore of 2010s hip hop? 

That's what followers of Spotify's Rap Caviar playlist voted in 2021, and now murals in these artists' hometowns—Raleigh, Los Angeles, Toronto and New York—make that statement loud and clear. 

Visit this mural in downtown Raleigh to snap your selfie with J. Cole and company during your Dreamville visit! 

Approximate address: 416 S. Dawson St. (near Crank Arm Brewing in the Warehouse District).


Photos by Garrett Poulos

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