ABBA won’t be staying together for too much longer. After their virtual concert and reunion take place in 2022, the group will break up for good. One of the members of the group, Benny Andersson, explained the decision during an interview with The Guardian.
Andersson told the outlet, “This is it,” in reference to their latest reunion, which has come after nearly 40 years. He added, “It’s got to be, you know.” ABBA previously disbanded in 1982 after the two couples at the center of the group, Andersson and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad, and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnatha Faltskog, both divorced. The group will be parting ways on a more amicable note this time around. Additionally, Andersson also noted that when they previously disbanded, he never actually said that it would be a permanent move. But, he’s saying so now.
“I never said myself that ABBA was never going to happen again. But I can tell you now: This is it,” he added. ABBA’s reunion is set to begin at London’s new ABBA arena in May 2022. It’s going to be a concert experience like you’ve never seen before. The group will be engaging in a “concert residency,” but it will involve them creating digital “Abbatars” of the foursome, as they don’t typically enjoy performing live. Their Voyage show will see the creation of a 3,000-person arena, a 10-piece live band, and 800 animators. In advance of the show, the group will be releasing their first alum in decades, Voyage, on Nov. 5.
“So we literally filmed ABBA, then Wayne McGregor took all their movements and extended those movements into younger body doubles, so you’ve got the soul of ABBA in these younger bodies, and we blend them all together, but it’s not in 3D,” Baillie Walsh, Voyage‘s director, told The Guardian about the concert. “They gave me this building where we would do a live concert that isn’t holograms, that people are going to want to come to again and again, with a flat screen. That was my biggest challenge: How can we make this experience immersive, a live experience, with essentially a flat screen?” The production team didn’t reveal exactly what fans will be, as they want to keep the experience a surprise until then. ABBA’s concert residency will begin on May 27, 2022. Tickets will be available for purchase to the general public starting on Nov. 3.