This is one story we never thought we’d be writing. After almost 40 years ABBA, one of the biggest and most successful bands of all time, has announced their return with a new studio album, and a new concert that will see singers Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus performing digitally (as avatars) with a live 10-piece band in a purpose-built arena in London.
The live dates begin on May 27th next year, and we are certain they’ll be a sell out. Before we tell you the best ways to get your tickets, we think you need to grasp just how big a deal this live show is. This isn’t just a gig, but probably the biggest musical event ever.
ABBA have sold hundreds of millions of albums worldwide since getting together in Sweden 1972. The group’s simple but highly sophisticated songs have endured since the group, consisting of two married couples, split amid the breakup of the two couples in 1982.
Formed in 1972, As one of the most successful music groups of all time, ABBA reached its greatest success from 1972-1982 with many top-10 hits including
- Waterloo (1974)
- SOS (1975)
- Mamma Mia (1975)
- Fernando (1976)
- Dancing Queen (1976)
- Knowing Me, Knowing You (1977)
- Take a Chance on Me (1978)
- I Have a Dream (1979)
- The Winner Takes It All (1980),
- One of Us (1981)
ABBA broke up a few times over the years and finally called it a day in 1982. The band got together for a one-off event in 2016 for a TV performance in this country. At their peak they were an international hit cramming stadiums with some thing like 100,000 fans. Unbelievably however, ABBA only toured four times, which is why next years show will be so special.
- Swedish Folkpark Tour (1973)
- European Tour (1974–1975)
- European & Australian Tour (1977)
- ABBA: The Tour (1979–1980).
There is no doubt ABBA set the bar as high as possible – where they led, others followed. But through it all, it has always been ABBA that reigned supreme.
While songwriters Benny and Björn continued to work together (including a musical, “Chess,” with lyricist Tim Rice in 1984), the four members did not appear together publicly onstage again until 2016.
There was also that other global success, which continues to pull in sell out crowds all over the world – MAMMA MIA.
The two new ABBA songs, “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down,” were recorded by the group in Stockholm and will both feature in the concert. Incredibly, they are the first new material from ABBA since the release of the “Under Attack” in December of 1982, although the members, now all in their 70s, have put out solo projects.
Both singles have videos on with more than 1.5 million views in the first few hours of release. Take a look at the first and it’s like a music trip down ABBA memory lane.
The digital versions of ABBA have been created “following weeks and months of motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic,” the company founded by George Lucas.
This has been in the offing for a while, if you were to believe the rumours. For the last few years the boys on the band have been teasing us about new music, first two songs, then six, with a hint towards a virtual performance of some kind. Who would have ever guessed the projesct would be on this oncredible scale.
The pair said two years ago (pre-pandemic) that the music would be delayed while preparations for the concert were completed, and then we had a slightly cryptic message about some kind of “ABBA Voyage” last week.
The group said……….
“It’s been a while since we made music together. Almost 40 years, actually. We took a break in the spring of 1982 and now we’ve decided it’s time to end it. They say it’s foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we’ve recorded a follow-up to [1981’s] ‘The Visitors.’ To tell the truth, the main inspiration to record again comes from our involvement in creating the strangest and most spectacular concert you could ever dream of. We’re going to be able to sit back in an audience and watch our digital selves perform our songs on a stage in a custom-built arena in London next spring. Weird and wonderful!
“To all of you who patiently have followed us in some way or another these past decades: Thank you for waiting — it’s time for a new journey to begin.
“We simply call it ‘Voyage’ and we’re truly sailing in uncharted waters. With the help of our younger selves, we travel into the future. It’s not easy to explain but then it hasn’t been done before.”
“It’s hard to say what’s been the most joyful thing for me (Benny) with this project, if it’s the involvement in creating the concert together with everyone or being back in the studio together again after 40 years. I think hearing Frida and Agnetha singing again is hard to beat. When you come to the arena you will have the four of us together with an absolutely glorious 10-piece band. And even if not in the flesh, we will be right there, thanks to the work of the creative team and ILM.”
Anna-Frid went on……
“Those first sessions back in 2018 were such fun and when Benny called and asked if I’d consider singing some more I jumped at it! And what songs!! My respect and love go out to these exceptionally talented, truly genius songwriters! Such joy it was to work with the group again. I am so happy with what we have made, and I dearly hope our fans feel the same.”
“When we got back together in the studio I had no idea what to expect… But Benny’s recording studio is such a friendly and safe environment, and before I knew it I was really enjoying myself! I can hardly believe that finally, the moment has come to share this with the world!”
Talking about the girls Björn said…….
“They’re such amazing singers, those two, I was completely floored by the way they delivered those songs. They’re true musicians; totally unimpressed by pop star glamour but still having a great time being creative in a recording studio. The “Voyage” project has injected new life into us in more ways than one.”
“So, again, thanks for waiting! We hope to see you in the ‘ABBA Arena’ and yes — see — because we have infused a good deal of our souls into those avatars. It’s not an exaggeration to say that we’re back.”
Producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson……
“The magic of ABBA and the herculean efforts of this whole magnificent team reaches a long awaited milestone today. To be able to finally share this endeavour with the world is a proud moment for us and we can’t wait to welcome you to our arena in East London, a place where we are so happy to be.”
Universal Music Group chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge, said……
“From the very beginning of my career, and having had the privilege to work with them directly for many years since, it’s been a tremendous joy to be surrounded by ABBA and their music. Their boundless creativity and timeless melodies make us want to partner with them on everything they do, because we know it will be simply great.”
So now onto the album and tickets for ABBA Voyage which will open on May 27 the ABBA Arena, a purpose built, state-of-the-art 3,000 capacity arena located at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
One other thing, you may want to go for General Admission, that gets you as close as possible, and on the floor so you can dance. The seats will be great but this is ABBA, we all want to dance.
You can also get a private booth space, so perhaps get some mates together and see if that is an option.
Get closer to the action with our General Admission tickets. These tickets are for standing (or dancing) only, so you’ll be closer to the stage than anyone else and free to dance anywhere within the area.
Choose from a wide variety of seats at a range of different prices depending on where you’d like to sit. Pricing is based on the location of the seats, but every seat is a good one.
We have eight Dance Booths, each named after people from the ABBA universe. These are flexible spaces, so you can book individual seats in a booth, or book one or more whole booths for your party. Each booth has seating for all, plus your very own dance floor.
As for general sale, that is now open, but tickets are going fast. To get yours, and the best deals, go here – ABBA VOYAGE.