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Abba say “no way” to 50th anniversary reunion at Eurovision

By | Published on Thursday 25 May 2023

Abba (Credit: Baillie Walsh)

Sweden’s win at this year’s Eurovision means that the country will be hosting the event next year as the 50th anniversary of Abba’s victory at the big old song contest passes. How will Abba themselves mark this occasion? Surely by getting together on the Eurovision stage, right? Think again, says the band’s Benny Andersson.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight about another anniversary – the first year of their Abba Voyage show in London – Andersson says in an interview set to air tonight that there is “no way” that the band would reunite for next year’s Eurovision.

“I don’t want to”, he says bluntly. “And if I don’t want to, the others won’t. It’s the same for all four of us. Someone says no – it’s a no”.

You need confirmation of that? Well, sitting by his side, Bjorn Ulvaeus adds: “We can celebrate 50 years of Abba without us being on stage”.

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that they don’t want to perform together, given that they have already built a whole show using digital avatars to avoid ever having to do so again.

“We achieved more than we could ever hope for [with Voyage]”, says Andersson. “Seeing this happening after four or five years of work and realising that the audience actually connected to what was on stage. Not like watching a movie, but as if we were actually there”.

With Abba Voyage currently only being staged in London, Andersson also explains that there have been discussions about constructing venues able to host the show in other countries too, with one at the top of his list.

“I have to say I’d like to take the show to Australia”, he says. “It would feel good to go back there and say thank you to Australians for supporting us from day one”.

The interview will be broadcast tonight on BBC Newsnight, which airs at 10.30pm. A longer version will also be made available on BBC iPlayer.