ABBA Doesn’t Know How ‘Voyage’ Show Has Succeeded
Based on avatars of the four members in their ‘70s heyday, the virtual experience opened less than 11 months ago. It features a live band along with a sound and light display that’s delivered in the custom-built ABBA Arena. In a new interview with NME, Ulvaeus revealed they were planning to build similar venues in other parts of the world.
“It’s amazing – it has surpassed any dream I could have ever had,” he said. “We’ve somehow reached new generations by some miracle. I don’t know how, but there you are. ... Technology is just one part of it. There are so many other moving parts … there’s talent, there’s good songs, there’s all of that behind it – but there’s also luck. You have to be lucky when something works as well as this, as well as having the resources artistically, financially and so forth.”
He added that “we don’t know exactly what it is that we’ve done, which makes it hard to replicate. I don’t know [if] it’s just for another band to do the same thing and expect the same kind of emotional effect that this has had. Not automatically – it’s not that easy.”
Ulvaeus expressed hope that the London venue will remain open “for many years” and hinted at plans to open new custom-built locations in North America, Asia and Australia. “Each one would take at least two years to build,” he cautioned. “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.”
He added that the Voyage set list could change in the future. “We did motion-capture more songs than we have in this concert,” he said. “There are songs in the pipeline which might be animated and ‘ABBA-tarred’ in the future … but I can’t give you any details as of right now.”
One place the ABBA show won't be going, Ulvaeus noted, is big festivals such as Glastonbury. “I don’t think that’s possible yet,” he said. “It might be in the future. As it is, it’s too complicated, because the lighting, the sound, the visuals, everything is integrated and it’s so complicated.”