ABBA fans: dust off your platforms and prepare to step into a time machine.
Nearly 35 years after their last major show, Agnetha Fältskog, 66, Björn Ulvaeus, 71, Benny Andersson, 69, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 70, are reuniting for a live “entertainment experience.”
There are few details about the performance, but the new show aims to blend virtual reality and artificial intelligence in an entirely new way to enable ABBA fans of all ages to interact with the band’s unique disco sound.
“We’re inspired by the limitless possibilities of what the future holds and are loving being a part of creating something new and dramatic,” says ABBA songwriter Andersson, who goes onto describe the cutting-edge project as “a time machine that captures the essence of who we were. And are.”
Lyngstad adds, “Our fans around the world are always asking us to reform and so I hope this new ABBA creation will excite them as much as it excites me!”
The hi-tech entertainment concept is the brainchild of former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller and will draw heavily upon digital technology.
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The four members of ABBA, who have sold 380 million records since they formed in 1972, will have a hands-on role throughout the development of the show, which is expected to launch in 2018.
“The creativity and ideas flowing from the members of ABBA over the past few months have filled me with great excitement,” says Fuller. “We are exploring a new technological world, with virtual reality and artificial intelligence at the forefront, that will allow us to create new forms of entertainment and content we couldn’t have previously imagined.”
This is the second time in six months that ABBA has reunited. In June, all four members sung on stage for the first time in 30 years during a special 50th anniversary party in Stockholm.
“It was absolutely amazing. A lot of emotions,” Lyngstad told Espressen after the performance.
“We’ve made this journey throughout our history,” Lyngstad continued. “Benny and Björn in particular. It’s been very nostalgic.”
The Dancing Queen stars originally split in 1982, when a series of broken marriages among the band members finally took its toll.
While singers Fältskog and Lyngstad largely withdrew from the music world, Ulvaeus and Andersson went on to create the Broadway hit Mamma Mia!, which later became a cult movie starring Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan.