Attractions industry news

30 May 2022

Industrial Light & Magic creates groundbreaking virtual ABBA concert

ABBA, the 70s icons behind hits such as Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia, has returned to live concerts after a 40-year break – in digital form.

Featuring ground-breaking augmented reality and other digital technologies, the new ABBA Voyage concerts recreate the sights and sounds of Abba in their 1970s heyday.

To create the footage, the four ABBA members worked together with Industrial Light & Magic – the visual effects firm founded by George Lucas and famous for its work on blockbusters such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad performed in motion capture suits for five weeks, with around 160 cameras scanning their body movements and facial expressions.

Industrial Light & Magic animators and visual effects artists then created digital avatars – or "ABBAtars" – of each member, who ​​then appear on a 65 million pixel screen in front of their fans.

Using lights and other effects, the boundaries between the screen and the "real world" are then blurred using lighting effect, creating an illusion that the four are, in fact, performing on stage.

The experience is housed at a custom-built venue, called ABBA Arena, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, east London.

"ABBA Voyage is the long-awaited concert from one of the biggest pop acts of all time featuring a setlist of ABBA’s biggest, most popular hits – each handpicked with great care by the band," ABBA Voyage said.

"Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid have created the kind of concert they always wanted, performing for their fans at their very best: as digital versions of themselves backed by today’s finest musicians.

"Blurring the lines between the physical and digital, fans will be able to see the magic of ABBA brought to life using the latest in motion capture technology.

"It’s the greatest ABBA performance the world has never seen. Until now."

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