- 26 May 23
Although a reunion is off the table, Benny Andersson has expressed speculative hopes to take ABBA Voyage worldwide
Before ABBA parted ways in 1983, they made history fifty years ago as the first Swedish act to win Eurovision back in 1974. Now, with the 50th Anniversary of their historic Eurovision win on the horizon in 2024 and the fact that next year, Sweden is expected to host, fans' hopes have once again skyrocketed - and once again been softly turned down.
It's not unprecedented - made up of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Rutger Gunnarsson and Ola Brunkert, the Swedish supergroup has long heard pleas to come back together and perform on-stage as a whole act again and continuously shot down all offers and requests regarding the matter.
While there have been some exceptions made, including Andersson producing music for the Mama Mia! sequel with Ulvaeus and Judy Craymer and ABBA's release of Voyage, their 2021 album, the group has largely disavowed official reunions of any sort. Part of what allowed for Voyage to happen at all was an unofficial reunion in 2016.
The resolute "no" came from Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the group's main songwriters, through BBC Newsnight.
""I don’t want to. And if I don’t want to, the others won’t," Andersson explained.
Ulvaeus confirmed the negative response with his own refusal, citing the fact that they could "celebrate 50 years of ABBA without us being on-stage."
There is some good news, however. While they won't be returning to relive the glory of Eurovision, Andersson has expressed interest in taking ABBA's Voyage show, currently housed at the ABBA Arena in London, worldwide. An ABBA concert "40 years in the making," it takes its name from their latest album and relives their greatest work for old and new audiences alike.
It does this by featuring "ABBAtars" in the place of the four-piece's band members. The ABBAtars are digitally animated avatars that recreate the recorded 3D images of the four piece, allowing fans to experience the band in-concert without the band having to tour.
As for the hopes for any other ABBA projects, old or new, the answer remains the same determined "no." Benny Andersson even laid to rest any rumours of a third Mama Mia! movie, confirming that despite Universal and Judy Craymer's desire to get the ball rolling, it's just not something he is willing to do.