That is due in part to impressive star power, starting with the main headline act on the bill. J. Cole (Jermaine Cole), the Fayetteville rapper with a platinum track record is the biggest name in North Carolina hip-hop. Cole, 34, has seven Grammy Award nominations to his credit, and all five of his albums have hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, including last year’s “KOD.”
Dix has hosted live music before, with a series of free concerts in 2016 and 2017 featuring local acts. But Dreamville represents a higher level of ambition, produced by Live Nation subsidiary ScoreMore Shows as a ticketed event.
City officials on Monday approved a request from organizers to increase the capacity to 40,000 people — up 5,000 from the original expected attendance.
Dreamville is a for-profit event but with a charitable component, originally set up to benefit an array of causes, including Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy and Cole’s own nonprofit Dreamville Foundation. In the wake of Florence, hurricane relief was added to the list of causes the festival will support.
Parking, shuttle options
The festival layout calls for multiple stages in the big field behind the State Farmers Market. A limited amount of official event parking is available for $20 per car at N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus within walking distance of Dix. There will be no parking allowed on-site or in surrounding neighborhoods, which means thousands of parking spaces normally available on weekends won't be.
For those parking at garages in downtown Raleigh, the festival has shuttle options.
For those coming from outside Raleigh, Regional Express Shuttle, run by FestDrive, will have numerous shuttles operating throughout the day from Charlotte and Greensboro. Round trip tickets for that shuttle start at $64 and all buses are guaranteed to be at the festival for pick-up at least one hour after the final act, approximately 11:30 p.m.
While festival organizers would not comment specifically on security measures, they did say that they are working "closely with our onsite security and medical personnel, as well as the City of Raleigh, the Raleigh Police and Fire Departments, statewide safety personnel, among other trained professionals, to ensure the event provides a safe environment for all festival-goers."
All secondary streets leading to Dix Park will close 6 p.m. Friday, and part of Centennial Parkway will be closed during the festival. No camping on site will be allowed, with officials urging concert-goers to arrive on Saturday when doors open at noon.
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