Workin’ NFTs: Dolly Parton embraces the future with Dollyverse SXSW announcement

Dolly Parton
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American treasure Dolly Parton will make her debut at the 2022 South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival to celebrate the release of her new novel, Run Rose, Run, an album of the same name with 12 songs inspired book, and the Dollyverse, a new NFT marketplace centered around the 76-year old singer/songwriter.

Run, Rose, Run, set to be published by Little, Brown and Company on March 7th, is co-written by bestselling author James Patterson. It’s described by the publisher as “a thriller about a young singer-songwriter on the rise and on the run, and determined to do whatever it takes to survive.” The audiobook will be narrated by a cast that includes Parton herself.

Patterson will appear with Parton to promote the book in a discussion moderated by Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton. The promotional appearance will also feature a performance that will include songs from the new album, as well as some beloved hits. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis to festival badge-holders and are sure to be a hot item in a festival already marked by appearances from the biggest names in music, film, and gaming.

The appearance is slated to be streamed for free on the Dollyverse platform, and the event will also mark the launch of the Parton-themed crypto site that will sell non-fungible tokens and other assorted digital art. Attendees of the SXSW event will be able to claim exclusive NFTs, while fans who stream it at home will get their own.

And while it may seem surprising that Parton is wading into the world of cryptocurrency and NFTs, Parton has long been known for her business savvy, having founded The Dollywood Company, a business venture she co-owns and operates running the Dollywood theme park, as well as various associated parks and theaters.

But nobody is more surprised than Parton herself, as the legend said in a public statement: “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. I’d say releasing NFTs at my first ever appearance at SXSW, with James Patterson by my side, definitely counts as new and different!”

Fortunately, the festival organizers seem to have some idea how grateful they should be to have Parton grace SXSW with her presence.

“Beyond her legendary status in the music industry, Dolly embodies the SXSW spirit as she extends her unique brand of creativity across many verticals,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer for SXSW in a statement. “Most importantly, Dolly serves as an inspirational and unifying role model for millions of fans – spanning different ages, occupations, and viewpoints – from all over the world.”