Mar 18, 2022 - News

Dolly Parton takes over SXSW

Dolly Parton attends the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards on March 7 in Las Vegas. Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

We're heading into the final days of South by Southwest, and the queen of country is ascendant.

Driving the news: It's superstar Dolly Parton's first South by Southwest appearance, and she's got her digital and physical fingerprints all over the event.

  • Parton is slated to perform Friday at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. The event will start with a conversation between her and James Patterson, the hugely popular writer who co-authored Parton's book "Run, Rose, Run," and its accompanying album.
  • Her appearance will be livestreamed on the blockchain along with an NFT drop.

Parton launched "Dollyverse" and will release Dolly NFT collectibles, including limited-edition NFTs of her latest album and Dolly-inspired NFT artwork for purchase during the festival.

What they're saying: "There's almost nothing more important to me than connecting with my fans. And I'm almost always up for trying something new and different," Parton said in a statement. "I'd say releasing NFTs at my first ever appearance at SXSW, with James Patterson by my side, definitely counts as new and different!"

Flashback: NFTs have been a dominant part of the conversation at this year's SXSW, with dozens of related events, parties and pop-ups.

Parton isn't the only celebrity to mark their festival appearance while dipping into the NFT craze.

  • Paris Hilton DJ'd an exclusive set for NFT gaming platform The Sandbox at their "Enter the Metaverse" event Tuesday. Hilton, a self-described "#CryptoQueen," has been vocal about her interest in NFTs.

Always bankable, Parton has recently collaborated with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Williams-Sonoma and Duncan Hines.

Why we love her: "She's an icon whose image reflects what different people want to see in her, so she's somehow all things to all people but still comes across as sincere," friend of Axios Austin and Dolly devotee Beth B. says.

  • Beth's bona fides: "I had planned to travel with a bunch of friends to Pigeon Forge to spend my 40th birthday at Dollywood, but the pandemic got in the way, so my husband planned a surprise backyard Dolly-themed birthday party" outside their bungalow in Tarrytown.
  • "He printed koozies with my face over hers so I have her incredibly oversized hair, one friend baked a funfetti 'cake of many colors' and another relabeled a bottle of tequila as Dolly Patrón," she writes.
  • "All the homespun love I'd want out of a Dolly experience and I didn't even have to get on a plane," she adds.

What's next: If you're not caught up on Parton, check out WNYC's "Dolly Parton's America" podcast, which dives into all the ways she transcends political and cultural divides, collecting fans from all backgrounds.

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