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Dreamville Festival: What To Do in Downtown Raleigh

The second annual Dreamville Festival, hosted by rapper and NC-native J. Cole, is coming to Raleigh April 2nd & 3rd. Thousands of fans from across the country will flock to the historic Dorothea Dix Park to watch their favorite musical artists perform live less than 2 miles away from the heart of NC’s capital city: Downtown Raleigh.  

Downtown is a convenient and central location for Dreamville attendees to spend their time away from festival grounds. It’s a vibrant center of activity home to a thriving creative culture and small business community.

Dreamville Festival describes itself as a “one-of-a-kind celebration of local culture, food, and art.” So in the spirit of Dreamville’s love for all things local, we put together this guide of unique, locally-owned businesses and attractions for festival-goers visiting Downtown Raleigh.

Learn more about Dreamville Festival from Visit Raleigh

"Buy U a Drank" – T-Pain

Order a drink (or two) at one of these fun downtown bars & nightlife concepts.  

Johnson Street Yacht Club

Ruby Deluxe

Slim’s Downtown Distillery 

The Architect Bar and Social House

The Pour House Music Hall & Record Shop

The Village Raleigh

Zenith Raleigh

Find more bars & nightlife in Downtown Raleigh.


“Drip Too Hard” – Lil Baby

Grab any last-minute clothing, shoes, or accessories for your festival fit to make sure you’re looking fresh. 

Black Friday Market

Edge of Urge

Father and Son Antiques

Munjo Munjo


Sir Chance’s Vintage 

Social Status 

Unlikely Professionals


“Up Late” – Ari Lennox 

End your long day with a much-needed meal at one of these Downtown Raleigh eateries serving food late into the evening. 


El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant

Gringo A Go Go

Hibernian Irish Pub & Restaurant

MoJoe’s Burger Joint 

Morgan Street Food Hall

The Pizza Times

Tin Roof 

The London Bridge Pub 

The Station at Person Street

Vic's Italian Cafe & Pizzeria

Woody’s at City Market 

Benny Capitale's Pizza 

Need some fuel before the day starts? Check out our list of restaurants serving breakfast


“Facade” – Morray 

Here’s some picture-worthy public art in Downtown Raleigh, tag us on Instagram to be featured! 

8-bit to 5G

All Are Welcome


SECU Daily Planet

The Mount Rapmore of the 2010s  


“Livin’ It Up" – Ja Rule

Stay entertained and have fun during your downtime exploring the city. 

Boxcar Bar and Arcade 

CAM Raleigh 

Epic Axe

Hunky Dory

Lump Gallery 

NERD Escape Room

Side Quest Game Lounge and Bar


“Leaving (Always On Time Part II)” – Ashanti 

Transportation options to-and-from the festival and ways to get around Downtown Raleigh. 

Dreamville Festival’s official Downtown Shuttles 

Parking areas in Downtown Raleigh

Alternative modes of transportation throughout Raleigh including self-serve bicycle and scooter rentals

Bus routes between Downtown Raleigh and Dorothea Dix Park


Have a safe and fun weekend!