Twenty five years ago today I attended my first ever ABBA fan event.
In 1983 I was an lonely ABBA fan in Canberra (Australia’s national capital). In the late 70s at high school I had friends who shared the love of ABBA, but as the years went by and we left school we grew apart. ABBA had come to an end, and the general public had seemed to forgotten them.
Through the last edition of the Australian ABBA Fan Club newsletter I met another local ABBA fan, who it turned out moved in the same social circles as I did. With him I travelled to Sydney for the Sydney ABBA Disco, the first organised ABBA fan event held in Sydney, run by a group of friends known as the Sydney ABBA Clique.
It was a revelation to me to be in a room full of people who felt the same as I did about ABBA. Many of them were “legendary” ABBA fans that I’d read about in the pages of the fan club newsletters. I knew almost no one before entering the room, but by the end of the night I’d met people who would become my lifelong friends.
That night also inspired me to move to Sydney and start a new life. I was accepted into the Sydney ABBA Clique, and over the next few years we would gather almost every weekend to share those occasional new records from the ABBA members, news, and videos from overseas, and enjoy each other’s company.
These days we might not see each other as often as we once did, but whenever we get together again it’s as if we haven’t been apart for more than a few weeks. Others friends have moved on, and sadly a few others are no longer with us.
If you ever get the chance to meet up with other ABBA fans, whether it’s a large event or a small informal gathering, I suggest you do it. You never know who you might meet or what friendships you might forge.