Archive for the ‘Fans’ Category

Abba fans in London: Unreal to see the show

27 May, 2022
The Australian Abba fans at the newly built stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London are looking forward to the “Abba voyage”. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Among the thousands of Abba fans gathered in London, excitement is rising ahead of the premiere of “Abba voyage” – and the most faithful have travelled across half the globe to see the Abbatars on stage.

TT 08:01 – 26 May, 2022

“It feels unreal to finally see the show,” says Roxanne Dickson, who along with a group of Australian Abba fans meets TT’s emissaries in front of the stadium in east London.

Despite persistent rain, feverish activity is taking place in front of the newly built stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park area of east London, where a collection of construction workers are trying to make sure everything is in place ahead of the premiere of “Abba Voyage”.

Even a crowd of curious fans have gathered at the venue in the hope that a living member of the Swedish group will unannounced appear – and some of the fans who have come to the British capital to see the historic performance have travelled further than others.

Opposite the stadium, a group of Australian Abba fans have sought shelter from the rain – and despite the classic British weather, the mood in the group is at its peak.

For Roxanne Dickson, wearing a yellow t-shirt, adorned with the Abbas – also the owner of one of the world’s largest Abba collections – it was also obvious to travel to London – despite the long and expensive journey.

“Absolutely – and now it feels unreal to finally see the show. This is all a very emotional experience for me,” she told TT’s broadcaster.

Even for Ian Cole, who has written a book on Abbas’ songs, it was obvious to travel to London as soon as the news of the Abbatar show was released – but just going to a concert wasn’t enough for the Australian superfan.

“I’m going to see four shows, which I’m very much looking forward to. And it will be exciting to say the least to see how it turns out – we don’t know what awaits us,” he says.

Beloved in Australia

The Australian fan base gathered outside the stadium in east London is also a testament to the special standing Abba has in the country. Ever since the 1970s, the group in Australia has been loved by loyal fans, praised by the band Bjorn Again – who at their concerts play Abba songs in front of cheering fans – and celebrated every year during a multi-day festival in the small town of Trundle.

One reason for the love affair is Abbas’ legendary tour in 1977, when 160,000 people watched the 11 concerts the group performed over 13 intense days.

The tour’s most legendary gig was the so-called “rain concert” in Sydney, where a huge downpour, followed by a mass invasion of insects that caused Benny’s white piano by the end of the concert to be dyed black, did not prevent the group from playing in front of an audience of 30,000 people.

For Roxanne Dickson, who at the age of six was one of the spectators on that wet Sydney night, it is also extra emotional to soon see the Abobes in London – albeit in digital form.

“My mother, who was a big Abba fan, had taken out a loan to take me and my sisters to that concert. It was an experience I’ll never forget, and now it feels like being back there again,” she said.

“Have given me friendship!

Many of the motley group gathered outside the stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on this rainy May day also testify that the love for Abba is about so much more than just music.

Fans Louise, Cotton and David tell us that they met back in 1989 at a gig with Bjorn Again – and that they have since remained close friends.

And according to Cotton, who not only wears a T-shirt that reads “I love Abba,” but whose cap is also adorned with the group’s name, it’s also the friendship between the fans that makes Abba so unique.

“I’ve been longing for this concert for 40 years – and it feels great to experience it together with all these friends. Because Abba has given me friendships that last a lifetime,” she says.

“In other places, people look at me obliquely if I wear an Abba print t-shirt, but in Australia I’m always met with smiles. Because there we are not ashamed because we like music that makes you happy.

Roxanne Dickson is one of the Australian fans in London. “It’s going to be a very emotional experience,” she said. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
Ian Cole is set to see four of the performances of “Abba voyage.” “I hope to hear both the biggest hits and more unknown songs,” he says. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
The Australian fans testify to how much Abba means to them. “We have a special relationship with Abba,” Cotton said. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Facts: Abbas’ relationship with Australia

Abbas’ 1977 tour of Australia began the country’s special relationship with the Swedish group. In her autobiography, Agnetha Fältskog has described the experience: “There was fever and hysteria. There was an ovation and sweaty and obsessive crowds. Sometimes it was horrible. I felt like the audience could grab me never to let me go.”

The 90s films “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and “Muriel’s Wedding” gave the relationship a revival.

In “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” three drag queens embark on a tour in a ratty bus in the Australian wasteland, delivering Abba interpretations in front of a not infrequently unsympathetic audience.

In “Muriel’s Wedding” from the same year, Toni Collette’s awkward Abba fan delivers lines like: “Now my life is as good as an Abba song. As good as ‘Dancing queen'”.

In the Australian resort of Trundle in New South Wales with about 600 inhabitants, an Abba festival has been held since 2012. The event attracts thousands of people every year, many wearing classic Abba outfits, who participate in singing competitions, party and listen to bands such as the Australian cover band Bjorn Again.

Source: Abbafans i London: Overkligt att se showen

Meet Australia’s biggest ABBA fans who are preparing for the event of a lifetime – the first ‘concert’ in more than 40 years

5 May, 2022

This week 7 News Australia published a story on Australian fans who are travelling to London for the opening of the ABBA Voyage concert later this month, including yours truly.

Read the story here.

Collecting limited editions

3 June, 2014
ianeurovisionDo you have one of the several numbered limited edition ABBA releases?ABBA Omnibus is collecting the numbers that fans have in their collections. Whether it’s this year’s replica Eurovision medal, The Anniversary Collection singles box set from 1984, or any other numbered limited edition that have been released in the years between.

If you have one of these items and would like to be listed, please write to site@abbaomnibus.net with the following details:

Item
Number
Your name (full or first name, city, country, whatever details you feel comfortable with providing)

You’re also welcome to submit a photograph of your item, or of you with your item.

Go to http://www.abbaomnibus.net/ and click on Fans for details.

 

Two upcoming ABBA fan events in Sydney and London

28 July, 2013

NON-STOP ABBA!Fans on both sides of the world are excited about two upcoming fan events.

First up in Sydney Australia on Saturday August 3rd is NON-STOP ABBA!, at the Imperial Hotel in Erskineville. Sharp-eyed fans may recognise the name of the venue – the opening and closing scenes of the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert were set and filmed there. Everyone is welcome. Tickets are $10, available at the door on the night.

A week later in London, England on Saturday August 10th is ABBAdance, at The Hop Poles in Hammersmith. Even clueier fans may recognise that this venue is opposite the Lyric Theatre, home of the musical ABBACADABRA! A musical adventure at Christmastime, 1983. Tickets are £7.50 and must be prebooked here.

Both events promise a night of ABBA music, the chance to meet other ABBA fans, and a lot of fun. If you can make it to either event (or both!), you should – you won’t be disappointed.

Inaugural Trundle ABBA Festival

11 July, 2012

Last weekend we headed out west for the inaugural Trundle ABBA Festival, at Trundle in central New South Wales (Australia).

Trundle is a small town, about 350 km west of Sydney, with a population of 666 (according to the 2011 census). Like many small country towns it is trying to thrive in a modern world. Earlier this year it was subject to the ABC TV series Country Town Rescue, enticing newcomers to the town.

And now to encourage tourists and visitors Trundle is hosting its inaugural ABBA Festival.

The Festival was spread over three venues – the Trundle Hotel (pub), Memorial Hall and Services Club. Events included a singing competition, a performance by the Parkes Shire Concert Band, best dressed competition, a couple of singalong screenings of Mamma Mia! The Movie, local group Diva 5 performing not ABBA songs, but a set of 60s hits, an ABBA memorabilia auction, climaxing with two sets by tribute band ABBASBACK, finally ending with a disco and karaoke, and a performance by local band Risky Business.

People travelled from far and wide; from the nearby area (Parkes, Forbes, Dubbo, Orange and surrounds), plus a few from further abroad (Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Melbourne). I would estimate that there could have been 6 or 7 hundred people attending the Festival – there many have been more though, with three venues (and people breaking out to eat) it was rare for everyone to be at the same place at the same time.

Locals were very welcoming of the visitors. There was no Priscilla-esque standoff between country and city folk. Everyone got into the spirit of the occasion, with many people dressing in ABBA-inspired or general ’70s costumes – so many kimonos, cat dresses, flares, high-heeled boots, blonde wigs and blue eyeshadow! Bar staff wore specially made t-shirts, with “I [heart] ABBA” on the front and selected song lyrics on the back.

There were a few fun surprise moments. During the Singing competition and the band concert the audience joined in, swaying and singing along. Young Jesse from Wagga Wagga sang ‘When All Is Said And Done’ in the Singing competition accompanied only by her own ukulele. Most memorable was a (near) spontaneous ‘Fernando’ singalong at sunset, around the fire bucket in the pub’s beer garden.

Organisers are hoping the ABBA Festival will become an annual event, along the lines of the Elvis Festival in nearby Parkes every January. Judging by the reaction on the day, it’s quite likely that it will be back again next year. Keep an eye on the ABBA Omnibus When section for ABBA events or sign up for the Oz ABBA newsletter to keep up to date with Australian ABBA news.

Click on “Read the rest” below for a selection of photos from the Festival.

(more…)

ABBA by Micke

24 May, 2012

ABBA by Micke – FANtastic Moments! is a great new book by German ABBA fan Micke Bayart.

The book tells Micke’s personal story of growing up as an ABBA fan in Germany. As he got older between 1984 and 1988 Micke travelled across Europe to television studios, theatres, hotels, wherever the four former ABBA members were appearing to promote their latest projects.

During this time he was a member of the team that put together the German fanzine ABBA Fan Blatt. Many of those meetings were documented in the pages of the fanzine, with exclusive interviews that are reproduced in the book.

The book features many unique personal photographs by Micke and his friends, plus some rarely seen photos by professional photographers. The book is obviously a labour of love dedicated to a very special time in Micke’s life.

ABBA by Micke was published in September 2011. See the book’s  website for more information about the book and ordering links. Note: if you are ordering from Amazon.co.uk outside the UK use the second link, not the one for Instant Books fulfilled by Amazon.

ABBA CELEBRATION!

6 May, 2012

After the success of last November’s ABBA night in Sydney (Australia), and by popular demand, ABBA CELEBRATION! will be held again on Saturday 26 May 2012.

ABBA CELEBRATION! will be held at RAILZ on Regent, 56 Regent Street, Redfern, from 7 pm through till midnight. Five hours of non-stop ABBA for all fans and their friends.

There is a $10 cover charge to cover costs for security and DJ hire, plus a selection of hot snacks. We’re taking over the entire upper floor of the venue – there’s an outdoor area to grab some fresh air, and a pool table if you get bored with all that ABBA music – yeah, right!

If you’re in Sydney, or can get to Sydney for the night, you’re more then welcome. See here for more information. If you’re on Facebook you can RSVP here.

ABBA CELEBRATION!

22 October, 2011

It’s been a long time since there has been a gathering for ABBA fans in Australia. It’s about time that we get together again to share our love of ABBA!

ABBA CELEBRATION! will be a night of ABBA music for fans and friends in Sydney. It will be held at RAILZ on Regent, 56 Regent Street, Redfern, from 7 pm through till midnight. Five hours of non-stop ABBA!

There is a $10 cover charge to cover costs  for security and DJ hire, plus a selection of hot snacks. We’re taking over the entire upper floor of the venue – there’s an outdoor area to grab some fresh air, and a pool table if you get bored with all that ABBA music – as if!

If you’re in Sydney, or can get to Sydney for the night, you’re welcome! See here for more information. If you’re on Facebook you can RSVP here.

Like an angel passing through my room

17 February, 2011

British actor, singer, writer, comedian Christopher Green has been, like many of us, an ABBA fan since he was a child in the mid-1970s.

In 2006, while performing at a function as his character country and western superstar Tina C, he was lucky enough to meet Frida, who happened to be a guest.

That happenstance meeting started Christopher on a journey, looking into the nature of relationships, of love and loss. It also led him to reevaluate his relationship with his long-time idol.

Later he would sit down for an intimate one-to-one conversation with Frida. The final result is a radio play broadcast this week on BBC Radio 4, Like an Angel Passing through My Room, named after the last track on ABBA’s final album, The Visitors.

In the play Christopher recounts, both as narrator and in reenactments by two actors, that initial meeting with Frida. In conversation Christopher and Frida talk about relationships, both as fan and idol, and a surprisingly frank and personal reflection from both as they discuss the loss of their beloved partners. The play is incredibly moving.

Like an Angel Passing through My Room can be heard for the next seven days on BBC iPlayer.

If you feel moved enough to make any comments, you can send General Comments, Pick Of The Week, or Feedback.

ITV searching for choir for ABBA special

4 October, 2010

British TV network ITV is searching for information about the children’s choir that performed on stage with ABBA at Wembley Arena in November 1979, singing ‘I Have A Dream’, for their upcoming special The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song.

The producers are hoping to trace members of the choir to perhaps share that experience. If you have any information about the choir, or if you were one of the members of the choir, please write to news@abba-world.net as soon as possible.


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