Swedish pop sensation ABBA will be reuniting for the first time in almost 40 years at a digital concert in Olympic Park.
The band, one of pop music’s most successful groups, did in fact sing their hit Me and I at a private gala in 2016, which marked the very first time they got back together since 1986.
But the famous foursome will have not performed to the public for almost 40 years, that is until they do so at their upcoming digital show at Stratford’s Olympic Park, which was delayed last year due to the pandemic.
Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid in motion-capture suits – Credit: Baillie Walsh
The band said in a statement they released last September: “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.”
The concert, directed by Baillie Walsh, will see Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid performing digitally with a live 10-piece band, in a purpose-built 3,000 capacity arena on May 27.
The band members’ digital avatars were created following months of motion-capture and performance techniques as well as an 850-strong team from George Lucas’ visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic.
They also released a studio album, Voyage, last year in November 2021, 40 years on from their last offering, The Visitors.
ABBA’s Björn at the Olympic Park arena – Credit: ABBA Voyage
Two of the band’s new songs, I Still Have Faith in You and Don’t Shut Me Down, will both feature in the concert which will be followed by a series of digital performances throughout the year.
They said the main inspiration to record again came from their involvement “in creating the strangest and most spectacular concert you could ever dream of”.
ABBA in lights at Olympic Park – Credit: ABBA Voyage
They added in their September 2021 statement: “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.”