ABBA are to return for the first time in 40 years.
The new concert will see the group performing digitally with a live 10-piece band, in a purpose-built arena in London from May 2022. There will also be a brand new studio album.
The digital versions of ABBA have been created following months of motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic, the company founded by George Lucas, in what is the company’s first foray into music.
Two new songs, I Still Have Faith In You and Don’t Shut Me Down, will both feature in the concert.
Recorded together at Benny Andersson’s studio Riksmixningsverket in Stockholm, the new album, Voyage, will be released worldwide on November 5 via Polydor and Universal Music Group.
ABBA Voyage will open on May 27 at the ABBA Arena, a 3,000-capacity venue located at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Pre-registration for tickets is open on abbavoyage.com with tickets on general sale from Tuesday (September 7).
In a statement, ABBA said: "It’s been a while since we made music together. Almost 40 years, actually. We took a break in the spring of 1982 and now we’ve decided it’s time to end it. They say it’s foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we’ve recorded a follow-up to The Visitors. To tell the truth, the main inspiration to record again comes from our involvement in creating the strangest and most spectacular concert you could ever dream of. We’re going to be able to sit back in an audience and watch our digital selves perform our songs on a stage in a custom-built arena in London next spring. Weird and wonderful!
Producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson said: “The magic of ABBA and the herculean efforts of this whole magnificent team reaches a long awaited milestone today. To be able to finally share this endeavour with the world is a proud moment for us and we can't wait to welcome you to our arena in East London, a place where we are so happy to be.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group, said: “From the very beginning of my career, and having had the privilege to work with them directly for many years since, it's been a tremendous joy to be surrounded by ABBA and their music. Their boundless creativity and timeless melodies makes us want to partner with them on everything they do because we know it will be simply great.”
The music video for I Still Have Faith In You was directed by Shynola and has gone live on YouTube. The platform also hosted the live announcement.
“We are thrilled to host this moment in pop music history on YouTube, not only partnering with ABBA to showcase their first new music in 40 years but also capturing ABBA fans around the globe and their reactions to this monumental occasion,” said Dan Chalmers, director of YouTube Music EMEA. “This is a first of a kind multi-city, global event for YouTube and will mark a new era for ABBA in a way that will live on forever on the platform”.
The ABBA Voyage concert was made with the help of Svana Gisla (David Bowie Blackstar/Lazarus, Beyoncé and Jay Z for HBO, Springsteen and I), Ludvig Andersson (And Then We Danced, Yung Lean - In My Head, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), director Baillie Walsh (Flashbacks of a Fool, Being James Bond, Springsteen and I), co-executive producer Johan Renck (Spaceman, David Bowie Blackstar/Lazarus, Chernobyl) and choreographer Wayne McGregor (The Royal Ballet, Company Wayne McGregor, Paris Opera Ballet).