ABBA to stage first concerts in 40 years in east London
- Credit: Baillie Walsh
The pop group ABBA is staging its first concerts in 40 years in east London.
The Swedish band announced its return live to a global audience from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park today (Thursday, September 2).
The quartet - Agnetha Faltskog, Anna-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson - have recorded a new album - Voyage - which is due for release on November 5.
Two tracks - I Still Have Faith In You and Don't Shut Me Down - were premiered during the launch at the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
A series of concerts to promote the album are to take place at a custom-built venue on the fringes of the park with tickets on general sale from Tuesday, September 7.
ABBA Voyage will open on May 27 next year at the ABBA Arena, a state-of-the-art 3,000 capacity arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Pre-registration for tickets opened at 6pm tonight (September 2) on abbavoyage.com
But while new songs and greatest hits will be performed, Abba's stars will appear as digitally created avatars - or "Abbatars" - for the gigs.
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Bjorn said: "We have been longing for this for such a long time. We have really infused ourselves in these Abbatars."
The concert is produced by Svana Gisla who has worked with David Bowie, Beyoncé and Jay Z and Ludvig Andersson.
Benny, on why east London was chosen, explained: "London is the best city to be in. Theatres, musicals, concerts - it's all here.
"There is a big audience from all over the world travelling here for that reason. It was a no-brainer really."
The 90 minute concerts will feature 22 songs, including hits Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia.
The digital versions of ABBA were created using motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic, a company founded by George Lucas.
On the release of the band's first work in 40 years, Benny said: "It was so joyful to be in the studio again, all four of us."
The group - which is behind hits including Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia - also revealed it would be releasing a Christmas song.