Virtual concert series ABBA Voyage celebrates one year since its premiere this weekend (May 25-27) and organisers have marked the anniversary by releasing new images of the production.
ABBA Voyage, which takes place at a purpose-built venue in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and has welcomed more than one million fans since it launched last year, sees the Swedish pop outfit perform their many hits as digital avatars. The show has been critically acclaimed, with NME describing it as a “feel-good sensory overload” where “digital sorcery meets pure pop bangers” in a five-star review.
The new images, which you can see below, feature ABBA members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad’s virtual selves mid-performance. In the same press release, it was announced that ABBA Voyage has also extended its booking period, with tickets now on sale until May 2024.
Speaking about the creation of the show, Ulvaeus said: “If you build the right machine, and you build it well, then it exceeds the sum of its parts. The soul of the songs comes alive. And that soul isn’t just down to what you see on stage. It’s the stories and memories that come with it. Both yours and ours.”
Lyngstad spoke of her astonishment at seeing her digital self on stage. “It’s hard to fully grasp that it isn’t me,” she said, “and yet it is me. I can certainly see myself in the digital figure, the gestures, the facial expressions, the eyes that express all sorts of feelings. It’s absurd but it’s real!”
Fältskog added: “For a whole month, we got into our ‘space suits’ and helmets to perform our songs. A fantastic team behind hundreds of monitors, following it all, from tip to toe, to capture our movements and facial expressions. Sometimes all four of us wondered what we had got ourselves into, but we had many wonderful laughs, looking at one another.”
To summarise the project Andersson said: “Did we expect the response to be so intense? No. We didn’t know at all. And, do you know what? It’s always been that way. From day one. You start with a song and beyond that you have no control.”
This comes after ABBA spoke out on rumours that they’d be reuniting to perform at Eurovision 2024 to celebrate 50 years of their own victory as the Song Contest returns to their native Sweden next year.
The ABBA Voyage virtual concert series is currently set to run in London into 2024, with plans reported for the experience to be taken on a world tour.
Speaking to NME about what the future of the show involves, Ulvaeus said: “We hope to stay in this venue for as long as we can. We hope they’ll have us for many years, and we might build other replicas of this in other places: Asia, Australia, North America. There are lots and promoters and cities that we’re talking to at the moment about that.
“Each one would take at least two years to build, but there will be announcements towards the end of this year or the beginning of next about where we actually are going. That’s if we’re going somewhere, which we will.”
ABBA Voyage currently has dates listed until May 2024. Visit here for tickets and more information.