RALEIGH, N.C. — Before the masses take over Dorothea Dix for the Dreamville Festival, there’s a lot of buzz about this year’s turnout. 

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates a $7.8 million economic benefit to the city. Musical acts are not the only ones fueling the local economy. Despite the likelihood of rain this weekend, some food vendors hope to make a lot of money at the festival.

Festival organizers have announced a delayed opening Saturday. Gates are set to open at 3 p.m. because of inclement weather, Dreamfest said in a tweet.

What You Need To Know

  • The two-day Dreamville Festival starts Saturday

  • Rich Garner will be a vendor at the event for the second year in a row

  • Garner and his wife own the Caribbean Kicker food truck

  • There is a projected economic benefit of $7.8 million to Raleigh from the weekend event

Rich Garner, owner of the Caribbean Kicker, believes a quarter to a third of all yearly profits will come from this weekend’s event.

“Upside is that I would say it is one of the highest-grossing events that we do,” he said.

Garner’s food truck offers a fusion of Caribbean and Southern flavors.

“For me personally, it’s the thrill of gathering and people having a good time, man,” he said.

The 36-year-old said it doesn’t get any better than feeding hundreds if not thousands of people at the festival.

“To know that it is Carolina homegrown is really amazing,” he said.

The pandemic canceled the J. Cole-created celebration in 2020. After returning in 2021, it didn’t take long for the festival to go from a one- to two-day event in 2022.

“I feel like we can thrive in this type of environment. I feel like we can just come together and have a good time,” Garner said.

Last year, Garner served more than 2,000 people on the first day of the festival.

Garner and his wife have been the owners of the food truck for the last five years. With ancestral roots to Trinidad and Tobago, the couple have been cooking up a taste of the islands for people. 

“We just kind of pulled everything together and kept going, kept going and mastered a recipe because we all love spicy food and it just kind of went from there,” Garner said.

Planning is nonstop, beginning weeks in advance.

“It’s a logistical nightmare wrapped up in beautiful chaos,” Garner said. More people are hired for the two-day event to handle surges.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau projects 50,000 people will attend each day of the festival.