PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Dollywood is already a place where people can experience joy and happiness while having a good time with friends and family; now they are hoping to end the summer by leaving people inspired with their Rock the Smokies Christian Music Festival.
Happening Saturday, August 19, festival goers will be able to hear a variety of Christian artists, including the Grammy award-winning duo, Luke and Joel Smallbone, better known as For King & Country. They will take part in the headline performances, alongside Anne Wilson.
The Smallbone brothers have gotten to form a relationship with Dolly Parton after featuring the country star on their hit single, God Only Knows. When the song was released over three years ago, Parton stated that she wants the song to be heard from Hollywood to Dollywood, and since then, it definitely has, along with many of their other songs.
“She (Dolly Parton) has maintained a light and a grace that has always shown through her music and shines through the park, but what was really great about meeting her was that it still shines through her in person, and that was deeply inspiring,” Joel said. “It’s kind of like, if Dolly can do it, why can’t these two Australian brothers do it as well? So it was one of the more inspirational moments of our career was getting to collaborate with her, meet her and get to know her,” he said.
Both Joel and Luke, from Australia, moved to Nashville at a young age and have been a fan of Parton since they can remember. Now to know her personally and be able to share their music with those visiting Dollywood is a full-circle moment.
“Getting to know her (Dolly Parton) a little bit, it actually been pretty cool to see—obviously we’ve played at Dollywood several times now, the theme park actually represents who she is, and I think that’s a real special thing,” Luke said.
During the festival, the brothers plan to not only sing but share a sneak peek at a movie they have been working on that will be released on April 26 of 2024. It’s the story of their parents and their coming to America.
“It’s going to be a great night, we’re really looking forward to it,” Joel said. “It kind of closes out the summer for us in many ways.”
To get tickets to the Rock the Smokies event, visit Dollywood’s website.