ABBA: An Interactive Delight for Band's Fans
London exhibit brings ABBA fans closer to the Scandinavian pop sensation.
LONDON, Jan. 28, 2010— -- Thirty years after the band split up, diehard ABBA fans now have a home -- or even a world -- to go to. An exhibition center in London's Earl's Court has been turned into an ABBA-tastic interactive experience called ABBAWORLD.
"This is ABBA Heaven!" one fan, decked out in ABBA regalia, told ABC News.
"Anybody who has ever loved ABBA should be at ABBA world," enthused Jeems Trudel, who had come all the way from Canada to see it.
The exhibit is full of different interactive devices. Fans can sing on a stage with virtual members of the band, take part in electronic ABBA quizzes, lose themselves in ABBA karaoke or superimpose themselves on ABBA album covers.
"It started with 'How do we give the visitor a big hug in each room?'" said Magnus Danielsson, president of Touring Exhibitions, the company behind ABBAWORLD. "This is going to be more like going to "Mamma Mia!' than going to an exhibition. We want people to sing and dance."
The exhibition tells the group's story in 25 rooms spread over 30,000 square feet. Glass cases show band members' spangly costumes. Visitors can see recreations of Polar Studios, where the band recorded, and the seaside cabin near Stockholm where Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson composed the band's hits.
The ABBAWORLD organizers are hoping to cash in on the enormous success of the band. They've sold 375 million records. "Mamma Mia!", the musical, has grossed over $2 billion and counting, and there's also "Mamma Mia!", the movie, which was a box office sensation. Not to mention ABBA themed merchandise, some of which is for sale in the ABBAWORLD shop.
The band members appear to be somewhat taken aback by their popularity, "I thought we'd be completely forgotten within a week." said Bjorn Ulvaeus, one of the four members of ABBA.
But thanks to their music they live. "Timeless, ABBA songs are timeless, they'll be around forever," an enthralled ABBA fan told ABC News.
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