RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Dreamville, the hip-hop and R&B festival organized by Fayetteville native and superstar J. Cole, is set to return to Raleigh Saturday, April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd.
This past spring, the two-day event drew 80,000 people to Dorothea Dix to see several musical acts.
"It's become an all-hands on deck type of thing," said Johnny Hackett, Jr., CEO and Founder of Black Friday Market in downtown Raleigh.
The retail space allows entrepreneurs to sell their products, and they currently work with dozens of businesses. The festival's efforts to highlight businesses, including handing out booklets with maps for attendees, appreciated by Hackett, Jr. and his team.
"We're just like any other small business where our exposure isn't huge, but once we do have engagement and contact with a new customer, they end up loving the store, or the restaurant, or the product, and then they say yes I'm coming back, I would not have known about this if I wasn't here in town for this weekend for Dreamville," said Hackett, Jr.
According to a conservative estimate from Visit Raleigh, the event had a $6.7 million economic impact within Wake County.
"J. Cole and the Dreamville team have always been very intentional from Day 1 about bringing local culture, exposure to local food, local art, the retailers, and the beauty of it was, in their second year, they expanded into the Warehouse District and parts of downtown, using other venues, and having ancillary events. That's exactly what we wanted to see happen," said Loren Gold, Executive Vice President of Visit Raleigh.
More than 80% of tickets were sold to fans outside the region, with attendees from all 50 states and twenty different countries.
"These types of festivals become part of the base, part of the anchor, in terms of driving an overall community strategy," said Gold.
"It goes back to them seeing something in us, and knowing this was the right market from the beginning, years ago, to plant that flag here and start that annual event," added Hackett, Jr.
Scheduling and performer line-ups have not been released at this time, though fans can sign up for pre-sale tickets here.
Tickets for next year's festival will be available soon.