ABBA Voyage: First-look at the ABBA Arena ahead of live concert return revealed
6 September 2021, 13:32 | Updated: 6 September 2021, 22:08
ABBA's return to the spotlight with brand new music after nearly 40 years has got tongues wagging around the world.
Though as you'll no doubt be aware, it's not the most traditional return to touring or performing.
ABBA Voyage will see the original four members of ABBA, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad take the stage together once again in what's being called a 'revolutionary' digital concert show.
To mark the occasion, the Swedish pop legends recorded brand new material for the first time in four decades together, releasing new singles 'I Still Have Faith In You' and 'Don't Shut Me Down', both of which are on their way to the top of the charts.
But what do we know about the ABBA Arena, the purpose-built venue where their digital concert show will take place? Here's everything so far:
What is the ABBA Arena?
The ABBA Arena is a purpose-built venue constructed especially for ABBA Voyage, and will be situated at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London between Hackney and Stratford.
To coincide with the release of the new album, Voyage, the 3000-capacity venue will host the digital performance and will run from May to September in 2022.
With dance booths, food, beverages, and more immersive entertainment, those attending the concert will see a live 10-piece band perform alongside avatars of the four ABBA members.
The concert itself will feature younger versions of the group, or 'ABBA-tars' which were created during months of motion-capture and performance techniques.
Industrial Light and Magic, the company founded by George Lucas worked painstakingly on the digital re-imaginings with a team of 850 people. It will what will mark the special effects company's first venture into the world of music.
What will the ABBA Arena look like?
Construction on the custom-built venue has already started, but the band has shared images on their social media platforms that detail what the site is expected to look like.
London and Hong Kong-based entertainment and concert specialists Stufish Entertainment Architects have drawn up proposals for the 3000-capacity venue.
As a temporary theatre, the venue will largely be made out of timber and has been designed to be demountable and re-useable.
The venue's main auditorium has been designed to create an ‘internal clear span of 61m and allow for a 360-degree immersive experience’.
As part of the development, the site situated in Barbers Road next to Pudding Mill DLR station will also have a box office, shops, food stalls, bars, and a covered concourse.
Talking about the ABBA Arena, the concert's promoters have said the pop-up venue will create "the perfect setting for ABBA Voyage, offering a live music experience like no other".
They go on to say: "The venue is built around ABBA’s timeless music and never-before-seen concert, so you can have the time of your life in general admission or have the option of a seat in the auditorium if you prefer. You can even party in style in your own dance booth."
Why is the ABBA Arena in London?
Discussing the new album as well as plans for the state-of-the-art concert, ABBA's Benny Andersson said it was being held in London because it was "the best city to be in".
He went on to say: "When it comes to entertainment – theatre, musicals, concerts – it is all here. It has been here for years and years and years. There is a big audience travelling here for that reason. It was a no-brainer.’"
Bandmate Bjorn Ulvaeus added: "We have always felt the Brits see us as their own."
For more info on ABBA Voyage and how to get tickets, click here.