Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers really heats up during Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® May 25 - June 10.

The festival features a stellar lineup of bluegrass music’s best artists as well as expertly-prepared barbeque from Dollywood’s Golden Ticket Award-winning foods team.

The opening weekend of the festival kicks off with The Gibson Brothers (May 25) and the “Queen of Bluegrass” Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (May 26-27). Dailey & Vincent (May 29-30), Molly Tuttle (May 31) and The Seldom Scene (June 5) are among the headliners during the festival. Seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Vocal Group of the Year Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (June 7) also makes an appearance during the event.

“When I decided this would be the Season of Showstoppers,” Dolly Parton began, “I couldn’t wait to see what kind of talent our folks would be able to round up to perform during my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival. Well, I’ll tell you they definitely did me proud, because it’s quite the lineup. It’s always a real treat to have these performers with us, folks like Doyle Lawson and my good friend Rhonda Vincent. All these performers are the best in the business.

“Plus our foods team—which won a pretty big award last year—is cooking up some great barbeque to go along with all that good music. You know how much I love their ribs! I suggest everyone sit down with a big plate of them and take in those beautiful bluegrass sounds.”


Doyle Lawson is a regular during this festival. He counts Dollywood among the best places to perform. He said,

“Just as Dolly is an exciting entertainer, Dollywood is an exciting place to entertain! Great venue, great audience.”

An impressive calendar of bluegrass talent performs throughout the festival with more than 350 individual concerts—all included with park admission—scheduled during the festival.

Groups Performing In Celebrity Theater:
The Grascals (May 28)
Blue Highway (June 2)
Flatt Lonesome (June 3)
Darin and Brooke Aldridge (June 10)

Groups Performing In Showstreet Palace Theater:
Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (May 25)
Phil Leadbetter’s Bluegrass All-Stars (June 9)
America’s Got Talent semi-finalists Mountain Faith (May 30)

For a complete lineup of concert performances and show times, please visit or view the Dollywood App.

Darin and Brooke Aldridge make their first trip to perform at Dollywood and eagerly anticipate performing at the place they’ve grown up visiting for years.

“We are so excited to make our very first appearance at Dollywood this June,” Brooke Aldridge said. “It’s been a theme park we’ve always loved and attended since we were kids. The shows there are always stellar, and we can’t wait to showcase our musical talents in Dollywood’s family-friendly environment.”


Fresh off Amusement Today’s 2017 Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Food, Dollywood’s foods team offers dining options that create a sweet harmony with the music from the finest in bluegrass. Traditional items, including hickory-smoked ribs, slow-smoked pulled pork and beef brisket, highlight the menu, while a number of new favorites make their debut.

Dollywood chefs took advantage of the park’s new partnership with BUSH’S® Beans to create several tantalizing new recipes, including Cowboy Kettle Beans. BBQ pork nachos, pork belly mac & cheese, and the BBQ bowl—featuring pulled pork atop Dollywood’s famous BIG SKILLET potatoes—are new this year. Chicken and waffles funnel cake, Dollywood’s twist on chicken & waffles, appears for the first time as well. Grilled watermelon salad and a bacon-wrapped hot dog on a pretzel roll also are new in 2018.

For more information, show times and food information for Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S®, please call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD, visit or download the new Dollywood App.

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 26-June 4) features extraordinary bluegrass acts and delicious barbeque!

With Dollywood’s award-winning chefs offering up tasty barbeque and the biggest names in bluegrass serving up some sweet sounds, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 26-June 4) continues the “Year of the Family” with a special treat for the senses.

Steep Canyon Rangers (May 31), Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (June 4), Dailey & Vincent (May 29), and seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Vocal Group of the Year Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (May 28) are among the acts helping the festival reach a high note. Dolly Parton said,

“There’s no doubt bluegrass holds a special place in my heart. There is something so beautiful about the sounds of that good ol’ mountain music. That’s why it’s a treat to have these great bluegrass performers, like my good friend Rhonda Vincent, at Dollywood during my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival. These really are the best in the business, and I’m glad we’re able to share their gifts with the guests who come visit us. Heck, I might even grab a plate of those ribs and sit down and enjoy some of the shows myself!”

Award-Winning Acts

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This year’s festival includes a number of IBMA and Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) award winners. Award-winning acts include Flatt Lonesome. This rising new group won the 2016 IBMA Vocal Group of the Year. They also received Album of the Year and Song of the Year the same year. The group headlines the festival on June 3. Kelsi Robertson Harrigill of Flatt Lonesome said,

“Flatt Lonesome always looks forward to being part of the Dollywood Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival. It is a great event that features all our favorite things – roller coasters, barbeque and bluegrass music, and the folks that come to the shows are always so much fun to play for. We sure hope to be part of this great festival every year!”

Artist Line-Up

An impressive calendar of bluegrass talent performs throughout the festival. Guests can enjoy more than 25 individual concerts scheduled each day on stages across the park. Legendary bluegrass group Hot Rize kicks off the festival on May 26. The Gibson Brothers (May 27) and Band of Ruhks (May 28) are also playing on opening weekend. Other Barbeque & Bluegrass performers include Blue Highway (June 3), Cricket Tell the Weather (June 3) and Farmhands (June 2). The lineup also includes the ETSU Pride Bluegrass Band (May 30). Also, catch Carson Peters and Iron Mountain (May 26) and The Loose Strings Band (May 31). Six-String Soldiers, the bluegrass arm of the United States Army Field Band, play, appropriately enough, on Sunday, May 28 and Memorial Day Monday, May 29. Andrea Asprelli of Cricket Tell the Weather said,

“As a singer and a songwriter who loves bluegrass music, it's an honor to be able to play at Dollywood this year. I first listened to Dolly on the ‘Trio’ albums, and soon learned that her powerful vocals were just as inspiring as her creative, entrepreneurial and loving spirit.”

All concerts are free and included with park admission.

Delicious Barbeque

Dollywood’s award-winning food perfectly complements the sounds of bluegrass music’s finest. The aroma of bold barbeque wafts through the air, thanks to expertly-prepared pulled pork, smoked sausage and chicken. Bountiful barbeque entrees are accompanied by Southern favorites like baked beans, corn on the cob and more. Guests also can find a number of sweet treats to put an exclamation point on their meal!

Dollywood’s Year of The Family provides amazing new memory-making moments for families to celebrate.

Learn more about Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass online or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass has arrived with award-winning bluegrass artists and delicious tastes of the greatest barbeque in the South.

Sweet sounds from the biggest names in bluegrass and the tangy tastes of the greatest barbeque in the South create a perfect harmony for guests during Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 13-22). Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Blue Highway, Dailey & Vincent and The Willis Clan are just a small selection of the talented bluegrass pickers taking to the stage during Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass. Dolly Parton said,

“It always is a special treat to have these great bluegrass performers during my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival at Dollywood. There is nothing like listening to these award-winning performers when they take the stage to share their talents with our guests. There is only one thing that makes the music better and that is a plate full of our famous southern barbeque—especially the ribs!”

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (May 15-16) are among the acts to help get the festival started on a high note. An impressive calendar of bluegrass talent performs throughout the event with more than 250 concerts scheduled during the festival. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver set up shop May 18 while Dailey & Vincent take the stage May 18-19. Other Barbeque & Bluegrass artists include Blue Highway (May 20), The Boxcars (May 22) and Balsam Range (May 22). The lineup also includes The Willis Clan (May 15), stars of the TLC show "The Willis Family."

Rhonda Vincent, one of bluegrass music’s most well-known performers, is a mainstay during the park’s annual festival and says the experience is unlike any other for her. Rhonda said,

“We always love performing at Dollywood. There’s a special excitement in the air every time we perform there, and it comes through in the show and in the response of everyone in the crowd. We can’t wait to get there!”

Dollywood’s award-winning food perfectly complements the sounds of bluegrass music’s finest. The aroma of bold barbeque wafts through the air, thanks to expertly-prepared pulled pork, smoked sausage and chicken, and slabs of ribs. Bountiful barbeque entrees are accompanied by Southern favorites like baked beans, corn on the cob and more. Guests also can find a number of sweet treats to put an exclamation point on their meal!

From bluegrass favorites and tangy barbeque at Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass to the park’s award-winning rides and family-friendly atmosphere, every season features amazing new memory-making moments to celebrate.

All concerts are free and included with park admission. Discover more about Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Stars of their own reality show on TLC, The Willis Clan will bring their special brand of music and entertainment to Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival on May 15.

Whether it’s performing for the nation on "America’s Got Talent," sharing the stories of their day-to-day life on their own TLC reality show, or treating Dollywood guests to a toe-tapping concert, the Willis family shows no signs of slowing down.

Among the many talented performers during Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 13-22), The Willis Clan is slated to take the stage on May 15 for what promises to be a fun show for guests. The extremely talented family band is comprised of Toby and Brenda Willis’ 12 children. While the band has performed at Dollywood in the past, it was a recent appearance on NBC’s "America’s Got Talent" which saw their fortunes rise.

As one may expect, playing on national television was a game-changer for the family. The family’s third-oldest child, Jennifer, serves as the road manager for the band. She is also a multi-talented musician, counting the accordion, fiddle, piano, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitar, banjo and ukulele among her instruments of choice. Jennifer said,

"'America’s Got Talent' changed our normal life. Our fan base really grew because of it. We didn’t get as far as we would have liked, but it was enjoyable and everything happens for a reason. TLC saw us on the show and that is how the ball started rolling."

While their time on season nine of "America’s Got Talent" ended in the quarterfinals, TLC saw great potential in the family, creating a show named "The Willis Family" to document their daily experiences. The Willis Clan sees the show as an opportunity to inspire their viewers through both good and bad times they may be facing. Jennifer commented,

"There are pros and cons to a reality show. The pros are that it is great exposure for the band, and we love sharing our talents, our music and our core family values. The downsides are that people see when you struggle through things. They see when you have bad days, but we think it is important for people to see what is authentic. If everything was always good, people couldn’t relate. We all struggle; we want to be good role models by the ways in which we handle our issues."

Watching the show, viewers quickly understand two things; The Willis Clan likes to have fun, and they enjoy doing what they love as a family. Jennifer said,

"We feel so blessed and fortunate to do what we love as our business, and on top of that, we feel honored to do it with our family. So many people have to leave their family to do their job, we feel blessed to have the opportunity to do what we do with family."

When it comes to having fun, there is no better place for The Willis Clan to perform than Dollywood. Having visited the park as both guests and performers, Willis says her family knows they are in for a treat every time they visit the award-winning park. She said,

"We absolutely love it. I was born in Chicago, so I was a city kid. When I was young, coming to Dollywood was a blast. It was a highlight of the year to go to Dollywood. The rides and the theme park are great, but being from a musical family, and an artistic family in general, we loved the music, the crafts and the shops, too.

"Dollywood was the whole package for us. Mom and Dad, all the way down to the younger kids, could enjoy it. Coming to play now is such an honor for us because it was such a magical place to us growing up, and we love being integrated in to it now."

For guests ready to see the family in action, Willis said there may be a few surprises in store during the Dollywood appearance. Jennifer explained,

"The band is going through some good changes. People are growing up and starting to take on new roles. The show will have a great variety, lots of music, definitely some dancing, but you may see new members of the band getting up and performing. You also may see other members doing things they wouldn’t normally do. People are starting to branch out, and we are really excited about it."

Discover more about Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass

Throughout the year, Dollywood Festivals celebrate every season with award-winning entertainment, attractions, food and much more!

Photo Credit: © Curtis Hilbun Dollywood

Dollywood guests know every season at the award-winning park presents a totally different and exciting atmosphere. Much like the changing scenery in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains creates beautiful sights for visitors, Dollywood’s fabulous festivals provide a distinct and always-changing ambiance for those who come through the gates. As Dollywood enters its third decade of providing memory-making moments for families, its fantastic festivals offer guests a multitude of opportunities they’ll find nowhere else. Free international stage productions and concerts by bluegrass and Southern gospel favorites, the eight-time winner for Best Christmas Event, as well as extended operating hours and a nightly fireworks show in the summer, combine with the park’s more than 40 rides and attractions to provide something for everyone.

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations—March 19-April 18, 2016
Dollywood welcomes the world during Festival of Nations, a fascinating multi-cultural celebration! Featuring the traditional music, dance, food and art of nations from around the globe, Festival of Nations reminds guests of shared similarities while embracing unique, time-honored traditions. The headline show for 2016, Mother Africa, returns after its Dollywood debut in 2014. This renowned show combines skillful acrobatics, live music and traditional dance to delight audiences through a world-class demonstration celebrating Africa’s diverse traditions. Major touring stage shows, internationally-known performance groups, various roaming musicians and more make Festival of Nations a fun, educational and exciting experience. Authentic international cuisine and the daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide guests with an escape around the world without leaving the heart of the Smokies.

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Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass—May 13-22, 2016
Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass launches the unofficial start of summer and combines the tastiest barbeque in the South with the biggest names in bluegrass. This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a multitude of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of International Bluegrass Music Association award winners. This annual tradition wouldn’t be complete without pounds of saucy pulled pork, barbequed chicken and ribs by the slab. This family-favorite event is music to the ears… and a treat for the taste buds.

Dollywood’s Great American Summer—June 11-Aug. 7, 2016
Great American Summer provides families even more of what they already love—time together at Dollywood. This summertime celebration features extended park hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, giving families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class attractions, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! Families will love Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Show, which returns to Dollywood in 2016. The high-flying antics of these powerful pooches will leave audiences begging for more. Perondi’s amazing animals have been featured on "The Tonight Show," "Ellen" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Great American Summer also features award-winning illusionist Brad Ross who takes audiences on an inspirational journey into a world of fun and magic. Each show features unbelievable magic, world-class illusions, hysterical comedy and audience interaction. To complete the day, the park’s festive nightly fireworks show features uplifting music and interactive elements to celebrate the fun of Dollywood after dark! Each evening a high-spirited dance party entertains guests in Wilderness Pass with a 15-minute party designed to get every member of the family on their feet prior to Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors!

Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana—Sept. 30-Oct. 29, 2016
With a colorful swatch of orange, red, yellow and gold painted across the landscape, fall in the Great Smoky Mountains provides the perfect festive backdrop for Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. Featuring a lineup, which includes some of the biggest names in Southern gospel music, the soul-stirring sounds of beautiful harmonies ring through the crisp autumn air as free daily concerts take place on the park’s various stages. Visiting artisans from across the country share their talents through an array of handmade wares, spanning from functional to decorative. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana—Nov. 5, 2016-Jan. 4, 2017
An eight-time winner of America’s Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana features four million holiday lights and spectacular holiday performances, including traditional favorites like "It’s a Wonderful Life" and "Christmas in the Smokies." Guests also can experience the fun and excitement of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends. Many of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in a festive environment designed to get everyone into the spirit of the season. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of a Smoky Mountain Christmas.



All Things Dolly
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