RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Almost two months since Dreamville Festival wrapped at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited about how much money the event brought. They’re also looking forward to what the impact could be in the future.

“It’s a great shot in the arm for the entire destination,” said Dennis Edwards, president and CEO for GRCVB.

After two years of people staying indoors and businesses missing out on customers, the festival was the area’s unofficial kickoff to a post-pandemic world.

“We’re just starting to roll out of COVID, the best we could, and I think this was definitely a shot in the arm for all of Wake County,” said Edwards.

The two-day festival brought out 80,000 attendees who spent major cash. GRCVB reported the following key figures:

  • $6.7 million in economic impact
  • 92% hotel occupancy rates
  • 84% of attendees came from out of town
  • 60% of attendees returned from Dreamville 2019

“Very, very happy with the entire turn out. We had attendees from all 50 states and 20 different countries,” said Edwards.

Edwards said other event producers are now reaching out with interest in Dorothea Dix Park.

“Having Dorothea Dix Park and Dreamville as a case study really demonstrates that Raleigh and Wake County can pull off major events and festivals,” Edwards said.

Planning is already underway for Dreamville 2023. While 2022 had preview events and merchandise sold at locations across different parts of downtown Raleigh, future events may include sites in other parts of Wake County.

Edwards expects Raleigh will continue to have a busy summer.

“Ever since Dreamville, we’ve never really slacked off here. Our numbers continue to be very, very positive but I think it demonstrates that people do want to get out,” Edwards said.

The next festival that’s expected to be a big moneymaker is the bluegrass festival. 2021’s pandemic-modified event brought in $5.7 million in economic impact.

The 2022 IBMA World of Bluegrass festival is scheduled for Sept. 27 through Oct. 1 at Red Hat Amphitheater and downtown Raleigh.

The festival is known as the biggest bluegrass music festival in the world. It not only features a concert but also a business conference and the IBMA Music Awards. Tickets are available for sale here.