ABBA to stage first concerts in 40 years in east London

abba

ABBA has announced it is returning with concerts and a new album - Voyage. - Credit: Baillie Walsh

The pop group ABBA is staging its first concerts in 40 years in east London.

The Swedish band announced its return live to a global audience from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park today (Thursday, September 2).

The quartet - Agnetha Faltskog, Anna-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson - have recorded a new album - Voyage - which is due for release on November 5.

Two tracks - I Still Have Faith In You and Don't Shut Me Down - were premiered during the launch at the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

ABBA Arena

A computer generated image of the ABBA Arena which is being built on the fringes of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. - Credit: ABBA

A series of concerts to promote the album are to take place at a custom-built venue on the fringes of the park with tickets on general sale from Tuesday, September 7.


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ABBA Voyage will open on May 27 next year at the ABBA Arena, a state-of-the-art 3,000 capacity arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Pre-registration for tickets opened at 6pm tonight (September 2) on abbavoyage.com

avatars

Digital avatars - or Abbatars - have been created for the gigs depicting the band members during their heyday. - Credit: Industrial Light & Magic

But while new songs and greatest hits will be performed, Abba's stars will appear as digitally created avatars - or "Abbatars" - for the gigs.

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Bjorn said: "We have been longing for this for such a long time. We have really infused ourselves in these Abbatars."

The concert is produced by Svana Gisla who has worked with David Bowie, Beyoncé and Jay Z and Ludvig Andersson.

Benny, on why east London was chosen, explained: "London is the best city to be in. Theatres, musicals, concerts - it's all here.

"There is a big audience from all over the world travelling here for that reason. It was a no-brainer really."

The 90 minute concerts will feature 22 songs, including hits Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia.

The digital versions of ABBA were created using motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic, a company founded by George Lucas.

On the release of the band's first work in 40 years, Benny said: "It was so joyful to be in the studio again, all four of us."

The group - which is behind hits including Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia - also revealed it would be releasing a Christmas song.


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