Accessibility links

Exhibit on Musical Group ABBA Opens in London


The world's first official exhibit dedicated to the pop music group ABBA opened in London in January. ABBAWORLD has attracted tens of thousands of visitors of all ages. The display promises extraordinary insight into the group. Spectators can even try their hand at performing alongside members of the band.

For an ABBA fan, it's a dream come true, the chance to join the 70s pop group on stage thanks to hologram technology.

Displays in 25 rooms take visitors on the group's journey, from their victory in the 1974 Eurovision song contest to an annual competition that launched the group's first major hit across Europe, Waterloo.

"It is the biggest collection of its kind," Wladimir Sardinha, spokesman for the official European ABBA fan club, explained. "They donated to this exhibition, Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Frida. They gave some personal items to this exhibition."

The exhibit follows the success of the group -- two married couples -- as record sales reached nearly 400 million worldwide.

Across Europe, Australia and eventually the United States, their catchy tunes, experiments with recording technology and daring costumes made them, for several years, Sweden's second biggest export, after automaker Volvo.

"We have met our first girlfriends and boyfriends listening to their music, so we have a lot of memories together with ABBA," Swedish journalist Torsten Blomquist says his countrymen are proud of ABBA.

After scores of hits, including Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, as well as nine albums, the group disbanded. Industry analysts note that both couples divorced but there were musical differences too.

Recently, with the film Mamma Mia and earlier the stage musical, a new generation has discovered the group -- and the exhibit.

"I liked it a lot," one fan said. "It was very interesting to find out about their past." "It was like going back, 20, 30 years, going back in my life," said another fan. "I felt young again." "I am more of a fan, having come here today and spent like six hours listening to the music than I was before I came," another fan stated.

The exhibit moves to Australia in a few months. Organizers are making plans for other cities, before it goes on permanent display in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

More than 35 years after the pop group became famous, for fans, the magic of ABBA lives on.

XS
SM
MD
LG