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Sweet dreams are made of… live music. J. Cole’s highly anticipated Dreamville Festival—which first graced Dorothea Dix Park in 2019—returned in full force this year with not one, but two days of high-energy performances (NTM local food trucks, art installations and all-around killer vibes). Here, we round up our top takes from Dreamville 2022. Until next year…
After two years of cancellations, you’d expect J. Cole to pull out all the stops for Dreamville’s two-day lineup—and he did not disappoint. The NC-bred Grammy-winning multiplatinum hip-hop artist enlisted big names like Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Ja Rule, Ashanti, Ari Lennox and Lil Baby to join him for the festival—and, as promised, every single performance was lit.
We hear you—even GA tickets were pricey, let alone VIP. But honestly… worth it. Each stage had its own designated VIP area, complete with its own bathrooms and bar (read: shorter lines!). The best part though? Each VIP area gets you up close and personal with the artists on stage (!) thanks to separate entrances. There were multiple tiers to the VIP tickets, but JV VIP was more than good enough to have a grand time.
Bacardi’s rum punch cocktails were the crème de la crème of the bar menu—and the Bacardi tent (aka Casa Bacardi) was the spot to get a drink. Tropical, boozy and oh-so-refreshing, these bevs were the perfect match for the hot sun. Our faves? The Say Less (which ironically packs a punch that’ll have you saying more) and The 919 (doubles—obv).
We will say, however, that all the alcoholic beverage ops at this year’s fest were pretty expensive—we’re talking anywhere from $15 to $17 for a cocktail or seltzer/beer (and $26 to $30 for doubles). So… maybe plan a pregame. But, luckily, water was free and there were plenty of water stations throughout the festival grounds. #HydrateOrDiedrate
’Grammable Photo Ops
What with all the incredible art pieces and installations at this year’s fest, there was no shortage of ’Gram-worthy photo opps. The floral-filled cars! The swings! The neon-colored light display! Surely a win for your Insta feed.
Positioned almost smack dab in the middle of the festival—aka a great rendezvous spot for finding your friends—the bright colorful Ferris wheel definitely took Dreamville to the next level (It’s giving… Coachella, yeah?). If you didn’t mind waiting in line, it was totally worth a spin.
Merch or it didn’t happen. The swag ops for this year’s Dreamville Fest were ubercool—from tees and sweaters to blankets and more—with tons of designs to choose from for apparel (the cozy hoodie was ideal for keeping warm at night!). Pro tip: Next year, preorder your merch to avoid long lines at the fest!
We will say, it wasn’t all dreamy. Despite the fact that Dreamville added a cell tower this year, it was no match for the tens of thousands of people (and their cell phones) that showed up to the festival. It was almost impossible to use your phone as service was pretty much nonexistent—which meant it was tough to get in contact with friends, post to social media or—most importantly—order an Uber/Lyft to get home. Let’s hope next year they figure the cell service sitch out!
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