ABBA The Museum

Published May 07, 2013

Text updated May 2018.

ABBA The Museum, located in Stockholm, opened to the public on May 7, 2013, preceded by a few days of sneak previews, culminating in the gala opening on May 6, attended by Björn, Benny and Frida of ABBA (Agnetha was in London promoting her album A at the time).

ABBA The Museum had a long gestation period, being first announced in 2006 and originally meant to be located in the building now housing the Fotografiska museum in Stockholm. When those plans collapsed, the project morphed into the travelling exhibition ABBAWORLD, opening in London in January 2010 and then followed by stops in Melbourne, Sydney, Györ (Hungary) and Prague.

The intention was always that the exhibition would find a permanent home in Stockholm, which it finally did in 2013, in the brand new building on Djurgården. Since then, the various parts of the building - called Pop House, also housing a hotel and a restaurant - have been refurbished, and at the time of writing (May 2018) the building adjacent to the museum has been purchased and will be used to expand Pop House. In 2012, Björn of ABBA stepped in as the main investor for the enterprise; the other members support the museum, but, to the best of my knowledge, have not invested in it. Björn eventually decreased his financial investment and is now a minority owner - the main owner is businessman Conni Jonsson - alhough he is still an active part in the development of Pop House.

ABBA The Museum is an exhibition and interactive experience offering the visitor a journey through the story of ABBA and featuring original artefacts own or worn by ABBA themselves, such as their legendary costumes. The audioguide features the ABBA members themselves telling their story. The interactive part consists of karaoke-style sing-along-with-ABBA booths, the opportunity to perform onstage with a holographic cartoon version of the group, the chance to remix a couple of ABBA songs, and much more.

I contributed the original biographical texts featured in the exhibition, which were also read by actor Stellan Skarsgård in the ABBAWORLD audioguide. These texts have since been developed by the museum, with my work forming the basis (although they are no longer used in the audioguide). I also wrote all the text (uncredited) in the ABBAWORLD book, which has been re-used for the official ABBA The Museum book. I have also written some new texts for the exhibition, in addition to helping out with a bit of fact-checking here and there.

In May 2018, as the museum celebrated its fifth anniversary, a new permanent exhibition featuring the four ABBA members' activities after the ABBA years was opened. I contributed research to this exhibition and also wrote the texts for the "booths" dedicated to Agnetha and Frida (I also wrote a text about Björn and Benny, but this was later changed a lot as the pair offered contributions of their own to the text).

The links to the right, in the MORE INFO menu, will take you to the official museum site, and also to a feature telling you more about the museum and why Björn decided to get involved.