The Swedish pop group ABBA reunited in 2021 for a new album called Voyage after nearly 40 years apart. They also announced a new concert experience called ABBA Voyage where digital avatars of ABBA would perform live on stage backed by a live 10-piece band. ABBA Voyage kicked off in May 2022 in London to much fanfare. With the success of ABBA Voyage, many fans are wondering if ABBA will take the show on an international tour to other cities around the world. At this point, there are no confirmed plans for ABBA Voyage to go on a wider tour, but the possibility remains open.
ABBA Voyage Concert Experience
ABBA Voyage features digital avatars of ABBA performing live on stage. The avatars were created using motion capture technology with the four ABBA members – Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid – performing dance moves and singing the songs. Their motions and expressions were captured and turned into digital avatars that resemble how ABBA looked in 1979 during their peak years. The avatars perform on stage alongside a live 10-piece band put together by producer Ludvig Andersson, son of ABBA’s Benny Andersson.
ABBA Voyage is being held in a custom-built ABBA Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. The high-tech 3,000 capacity arena was specially built to house the concert experience with advanced visual and audio effects. The ABBA avatars perform 22 songs with each concert lasting around 90 minutes. The setlist includes ABBA’s classic hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S.,” and “Waterloo” as well as songs from their 2021 album Voyage.
Opening in London
ABBA Voyage first opened for preview shows on May 2, 2022 in London. The official opening night was May 26, 2022. Tickets quickly sold out for the initial run of shows scheduled until early October 2022. In September 2022, ABBA Voyage announced the show’s run would be extended through June 2023 due to popular demand. Over 350,000 tickets have already been sold for the first series of shows in London.
Potential for World Tour
While ABBA Voyage currently has no scheduled plans to go on tour, the members of ABBA have expressed openness to the idea. In an August 2022 interview with The Guardian, Björn Ulvaeus said “It’s conceivable that this show will go to other places, to other cities, and why not?” Bandmate Benny Andersson has echoed the same sentiment in interviews, saying that ABBA is considering taking the show on the road globally in the future depending on audience demand.
During the opening events for ABBA Voyage, band manager Ludvig Andersson also indicated a world tour could happen if the initial London concert series goes well. “If this continues to be as popular as it seems to be, then yes, it will go on tour,” he stated.
So while ABBA Voyage going on a full world tour has not yet been confirmed, the possibility remains on the table based on the band members’ and management’s recent statements. The initial success and popularity of the London concert series make a global tour seem very feasible.
Potential Setbacks for a World Tour
While an ABBA Voyage world tour seems possible based on the show’s early success, there are some potential challenges and setbacks that could hinder worldwide touring plans:
The state-of-the-art stage setup and advanced visual effects that make ABBA Voyage possible require an incredibly complex technical setup. Recreating the technical rig across multiple tour stops around the world could prove very difficult and expensive. The arena in London was custom built just to house ABBA Voyage. Most normal concert and event venues do not have the technical capabilities in place currently needed to stage this show. Bringing everything on the road would involve transporting huge amounts of equipment, reconstruction time at every tour stop, and coordinating technical staff worldwide. These logistics would create big hurdles for a seamless global tour.
The costs of launching a worldwide tour could be very prohibitive. In London alone, the state-of-the-art ABBA Arena cost $9 million to build. Huge costs would then be involved with disassembling and transporting all of the high-tech stage materials, reconstruction at each tour venue, travel and housing costs for dozens of road crew members, production costs at each stop, advertising and promotion in every market worldwide, and more. With multiple tour stops in dozens of countries across continents, costs could spiral quickly out of control and eliminate profitability.
Health and availability of ABBA members
While the digital avatars are the stars of the show, the real ABBA members still played a major role in behind-the-scenes creation of the concert experience. Extensive motion capture filming and recording sessions with ABBA were required to create the digital likenesses and choreography. Then the four members, now all in their 70s, were closely involved in planning, rehearsals, promotions and more leading up to the launch in London. Touring would require ongoing involvement from the foursome with promotional engagements in every city the show stops in. Their continued health and availability to participate globally cannot be taken for granted given their advanced ages. Any health setbacks or lower levels of involvement from Agnetha, Björn, Benny or Anni-Frid would negatively impact touring capabilities.
Factors in Favor of an ABBA Voyage Tour
While potential challenges exist, there are also powerful factors that could enable an ABBA Voyage world tour to happen successfully:
Massive fan demand
ABBA has retained a huge global fanbase even nearly 40 years after their last album of new music. Tickets for ABBA Voyage’s London shows sold out rapidly, proving fans in their home city were eager to experience ABBA perform again in any form. Similar massive demand seems guaranteed almost anywhere in the world ABBA Voyage would visit. Fans who traveled from abroad for the London shows would surely love to be able to see it in their home countries. ABBA enjoys devoted audiences everywhere from Europe to Australia to the Americas. They could sell out arenas almost anywhere.
Technical expertise of Svana Gisla Productions
Staging ABBA Voyage involves incredibly advanced digital, visual and audio effects by the concert promotion company Svana Gisla Productions. They partnered with George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic digital effects studio to create the ABBA avatars using same motion capture techniques as blockbuster movies. Svana Gisla has the expertise and experience with global live tours for artists like Madonna to handle the technical complexities. If any production company is capable of recreating the ABBA Voyage technical setup in venues across the globe, it is them.
Universal Music financial incentives
ABBA’s recordings and overall business interests are managed by Universal Music Group. The music giant owns the rights to ABBA’s famous catalog of songs. Universal Music is sure to make a massive fortune from ABBA Voyage through recorded music sales, merchandising, film and music rights deals. This gives them strong financial incentive to make a worldwide ABBA Voyage tour happen by optimizing logistics, controlling costs, and minimizing risks to protect their profitable investment. Universal Music has the resources and infrastructure to support a massive global tour.
|Potential Tour Dates
|May – June 2023
|July – August 2023
|September – October 2023
|November – December 2023
|January – February 2024
Potential Tour Setlist and Production
If ABBA Voyage does embark on a world tour, fans can likely expect a similar setlist and production as the London concert series:
The London ABBA Voyage setlist includes a set of 22 songs:
1. The Visitors
2. Hole in Your Soul
4. Knowing Me, Knowing You
7. Mamma Mia
8. I Still Have Faith In You
9. Don’t Shut Me Down
10. I’ve Been Waiting For You
11. Does Your Mother Know
13. Lay All Your Love on Me
14. Summer Night City
15. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
17. Dancing Queen
18. Thank You for the Music
19. The Winner Takes It All
20. Money, Money, Money
21. Super Trouper
22. The Day Before You Came
This setlist draws from throughout ABBA’s career including their 70s-80s hits and songs from 2021’s Voyage album. Fans can expect a similar setlist for a worldwide tour.
The technical wizardry making ABBA Voyage work would need to be recreated in each city. The core elements include:
– Digital ABBA avatars created with motion capture technology and displayed on giant LED screens
– A 10-piece live backing band including rhythm section, guitarists, keyboards, percussionist and backing vocalists. They are housed on a riser towards the back of the stage.
– Elaborate theatrical lighting, lasers, disco balls and pyrotechnics
– Augmented reality effects merging the digital avatars with the live show
– Surround sound system and high-fidelity audio mix
– Massive LED video screens and towers to display the avatars and digital set designs
– Secondary elevated mini-stage connected by a catwalk into the audience for some performances
– Synchronized dance moves and interactions between the four digital avatars
Recreating this technical production and creative direction globally would be challenging but achievable for a worldwide tour. The setlist and overall vision could remain the same as originated for London.
Potential Cities for an ABBA Voyage World Tour
If ABBA Voyage goes on a full world tour, these cities seem like probable stops:
– London – Location of the inaugural concert series
– Stockholm – Hometown of ABBA
– New York City – Multiple shows likely at arena venues like Madison Square Garden
– Los Angeles – Multiple shows possible at Hollywood Bowl, Crypto.com Arena etc.
– Las Vegas
– Mexico City
– Rio de Janeiro
– Sao Paulo
– Buenos Aires
These cities represent the major markets worldwide where ABBA has enjoyed strong historical popularity and would likely draw big audiences to ABBA Voyage concerts. Promoters and Universal Music would evaluate each market’s potential ticket sales, venues, and demand levels in building an optimal routing.
Potential Revenues from an ABBA Voyage World Tour
ABBA Voyage has been a huge commercial success just in London, grossing over $14 million in ticket sales already for the first series of shows per Billboard Boxscore. If the show could match this success with a lengthy world tour including stops in dozens of major cities globally, total revenues could be astronomical.
Projecting revenue potential from a 1 to 2 year world tour:
These projections indicate ABBA Voyage could generate well over $1 billion from a massive world tour. Each revenue stream has huge potential:
– With ticket prices averaging $150, selling out 3-4 shows in each major city could quickly add up to $750+ million in gross ticket receipts globally.
– Demand for tour merchandise like shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs and souvenirs would be very high. Merch could conservatively gross $5 million+ per city.
– Corporate brand sponsorships for tour naming rights, venue sponsorships, and ads could be sold by promoters, generating approximately $50 million.
– Filmings of the tour shows could be packaged into a live DVD/Blu-ray release and album that could easily gross $25 million based on ABBA’s global fame.
These projections demonstrate how financially lucrative a world tour could be for ABBA and creative partners like Universal Music. The huge potential payday provides a major incentive to turn ABBA Voyage into a worldwide concert sensation despite the challenges involved.
ABBA Voyage going on a full world tour has not been confirmed yet, but remains a very realistic possibility. Band members have expressed openness to tour globally if audience demand persists. While technical complexities exist, the huge payoff financially and chance to reward loyal ABBA fans everywhere suggest the famous foursome could be tempted to take this spectacular concert experience on the road. Given ABBA’s proven staying power across generations and continents, ABBA Voyage launching as a must-see residency in cities from London to Tokyo seems achievable. For now, the wait continues as promoters evaluate the smashing success of ABBA Voyage’s early shows in London. But the potential for ABBA Voyage becoming a worldwide arena juggernaut looms large on the horizon, much to fans’ delight.