Making people happy ended up revolutionising the concert industry

7 May 2024

ABBA — whose songs we know all too well, each with a special place in our hearts. In 2022, ABBA Voyage unveiled their revolutionary concert experience, reigniting the magic and emotional resonance of ABBA’s timeless classics. SCC had the pleasure of speaking with Ludvig Andersson, the producer for ABBA Voyage, diving into the enchanting musical world of ABBA.

SCC Member ABBA Voyage offers a revolutionary concert experience that resurrects the iconic Swedish pop group ABBA through cutting-edge technology and innovation. This live concert showcases digital avatars of the band members, created using motion capture and performance techniques - transporting audiences back in time to the heyday of ABBA’s music in a blend of nostalgia and modern entertainment. Ludvig Andersson, producer for ABBA Voyage, emphasises:

“Words explaining ABBA Voyage just won’t give it justice. Our tagline is ‘a concert like no other’, and that’s what we created.”

Emotions as their guiding lights 
The journey began in 2016 when Ludvig and his team were presented with the idea of lifelike holograms.

 “Usually, we say no to everything. But in this case, we said yes because it sounded kind of interesting,” Ludvig says. With a curious mind, the team embarked on exploring the possibilities. Early on, they realised that the holograms they envisioned didn’t exist—at least not in the way they wanted. The solution was clear: they had to create the technology themselves.

After six years of dedicated work involving 2000 animators creating the avatars and building a whole new stage, ABBA once again graced the stage. While the technology is cutting-edge, Ludvig stresses that ABBA Voyage is rooted in the common essence of all art forms: 

“It’s all based on emotion. How does it feel? And how will the audience feel? That was always our number one priority - our most important guiding light.”

Ludvig remains humble about the cherished and beloved experience they’ve created; they simply wanted to make people happy. Speaking about the future of live-music, Ludvig predicts their creation may create a ripple effect down the line: “ABBA Voyage was the first of its kind but will not be the last. We wanted to create something beautiful, and if that inspired someone else to do the same, there will be more beauty and happiness in the world. That’s something we can never get too much of.”

ABBA Voyage became the destination
After 700 shows and nearly 2 million visitors, ABBA Voyage approaches its two-year anniversary. Reflecting on the journey, Ludvig marvels at the international guests they’ve welcomed, with one in five attendees traveling from outside the UK. “They didn’t just come to London and stumble upon our show—they came for us. That, to me, is one of the most humbling milestones of these past years,” he remarks.

A spring celebrating ABBA
For ABBA enthusiasts, spring 2024 promises excitement. ABBA Voyage celebrates two years, ‘Mamma Mia!’ marks 25 years on the West End, and it’s the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision Song Contest win with ‘Waterloo’ in Brighton - one of pop music’s best-selling acts that has captivated audiences worldwide.

Last year, Loreen reignited the music festivities in Sweden with her Eurovision victory in Liverpool. In May, Europe will unite in Malmö under the Eurovision slogan ‘United by Music,’ a slogan that Ludvig thinks is important.

“It’s an inclusive manifestation of love, which is wonderful. Music has that special ability of being the absolute fastest way to your soul somehow. Using music to break down borders and to bring people together - what could possibly be more important?”

ABBA’s music has resonated with people for over half a century, touching hearts with its emotional depth. With ABBA Voyage, fans can relive the magic of ABBA’s stage presence, creating new memories and emotions. On that note, a fitting way to end this article will be with this simple sentiment: ‘Thank you for the music.’

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