Sweden thanks Abba for the music with an all-singing, all-dancing museum

From The Guardian:

A boxy, four-storey structure of Scandinavian pine is rising out of the snow on Stockholm’s Djurgården Island, sandwiched between the city’s largest funfair and a restored 17th-century warship.

From its opening day, on 7 May, Abba The Museum, the city’s first monument to the Swedish supergroup, is expected to lure hundreds of thousands of tourists a year to belt out versions of hits such as Super Trouper, Dancing Queen and Waterloo, alongside holographic images of the group in all their spangly 70s glory.

“Obviously, from a Swedish state point of view it should have already been around for many years, because it’s one of the most famous Swedish brands ever,” said Mattias Hansson, the museum’s managing director, as he showed off the site before Christmas. “We know from the tourism office in Stockholm that each and every year they receive thousands of questions from tourists about where to go to see something about Abba, and for years they have been forced to say, ‘nowhere’.”

“We weren’t entirely sure if there was going to be one, whether we wanted one – to become artefacts and relics while we are still alive,” said Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus, explaining the group’s previous reservations when he announced his involvement back in October. But, he said: “I realised someone had to take the full responsibility and it gradually dawned on me that I was the one.”

He is now the project’s main backer, having taken a majority financial stake in December by buying shares from the three main investors – Universal Music, Live Nation, and Parks & Resorts Scandinavia.

Hansson says Ulvaeus’s involvement has made all the difference. “For certain, Björn Ulvaeus is the brightest creative mind I’ve ever been in the same room with.” The two are trying to make the museum as interactive as possible, drawing on Hansson’s experience as an internet entrepreneur. Every visitor will receive an Abba ID with their ticket, which will generate a page on the museum’s website when they enter the building. Everything they do inside will be recorded, from singing on the holographic stage to entering a booth where Abba costumes will be projected on to them. Later, they will be able to share photos and videos of their experiences on Facebook and other social media.

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