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Dolly Parton: ‘I don’t think I will tour again’

In a new interview, the 76-year-old music legend she has no intention of doing another "full-blown" tour but does not rule out special shows

By James Hanley on 28 Oct 2022

Dolly Parton, Grand Ole Opry, 2011, Timothy Wildey

Dolly Parton has suggested that she is retired from “full-blown” touring in a new interview.

The 76-year-old, who last toured in 2016, tells Pollstar that she wants to spend more time at home with her husband, but does not rule out playing “special shows” in the future.

“I do not think I will ever tour again, but I do know I’ll do special shows here and there, now and then,” she says. “Maybe do a long weekend of shows, or just a few shows at a festival. But I have no intention of going on a full-blown tour anymore. I’ve done that my whole life, and it takes so much time and energy.

“I like to stay a little closer to home with my husband. We’re getting older now, and I don’t want to be gone for four or five weeks at a time. Something could happen. I would not feel right about that, if I were gone and somebody needed me. Or I would feel bad if I had to leave a tour if somebody got sick at home and needed me and then I had to walk out on the fans.”

“You can do special shows in special ways. I will be doing some of that”

The country music legend says she hopes to stay connected with her fans in other ways.

“I don’t ever feel separated from my fans because in this high-tech world, you can be right with them,” she says. “You can do special shows in special ways. I will be doing some of that. But you’ve got to work for weeks to work up a great new show, a new tour they haven’t seen.

“It takes months to actually plan a tour, as far as booking dates and all that. Then you’ve got to be gone for all that time, too. It’s more involved than people have any idea. You really need a year, and certainly six months, to plan a great tour, just preparing to get ready to go hit the road. So you can’t just go out and do a few shows, you really have to commit to doing enough shows to make all that time and effort pay off.”

Parton, whose international agent is UTA’s Neil Warnock, singles out her Glastonbury 2014 legends slot – which attracted one of the biggest crowds in the festival’s history – as one of the highlights of her career, saying it “really stands out”.

“That’s as close as I’ve felt to being a rock star, was at that Glastonbury Festival”

“I was scared to death to do that show,” she says. “I didn’t think that was really my audience because I do a lot of talking, I do a lot of songs that tell stories and I know they love to go to have a big time! I thought they just wanted the music to just go steady with no let-up; but when I did it, I was absolutely amazed.

“When I was talking and telling the stories and singing the songs that I thought they would not be interested in, they were all standing on their feet. They were so respectful and it was such a huge success. So many people came, that I was really adored and felt honoured and emotional about that whole thing.

“You do remember things that stand out like that. They did know who I was. And I thought, these people are not going to be that familiar with my music because, you know, it’s country and all that. But they were! That’s as close as I’ve felt to being a rock star, was at that Glastonbury Festival.”

 


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