ABBA give museum a 'Ring Ring' but won't reform
The catchy tunes, outlandish costumes and shimmering boots that made ABBA a global phenomenon all feature in a new museum dedicated to the band, but rumours the exhibition may presage a reunion by Sweden's most famous export have been quashed.
The permanent exhibition within a hall of fame of Swedish pop music opens in Stockholm this week and organisers hope to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
Visitors will be able to sing along to ABBA hits alongside life-size holograms of the group – and then download the images to their web account.
"I would be interested, even if I hated ABBA, about how it actually happened and why," former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus said yesterday at the museum.
Ulvaeus, now a 68-year-old grandfather, rejected suggestions the opening could coincide with the band reuniting. A British bookmaker was taking bets in April on an ABBA comeback after singer Agnetha Faltskog hinted at a possible reunion.
"As you all know we have never reunited," Ulvaeus said. "So I take this opportunity to say now we are not going to either."
ABBA, made up of Ulvaeus, Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, shot to fame when they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Waterloo'. The group sold around 370 million records in total
To revive their heyday, the museum has a 1970s disco dance floor to practise your moves, audition recordings for a "fifth" member of the band and the opportunity to sit inside the famous helicopter that featured on the 'Arrival' album cover.
Based on the band's first major hit 'Ring Ring', the museum also includes a red telephone. Only the four band members have the number, and they promise occasionally to call it and speak to surprised visitors.
"I walked with Frida yesterday around the museum and she had a tear in her eye," said museum director Ingmarie Halling, ABBA's former costumer and hair designer from 1977 to 1980.