ABBA fan clubs - why you should join them

Published April 17, 2014

Now that the storm surrounding the 40th anniversary of ABBA's Waterloo Eurovision victory has subsided somewhat, I thought I'd post some reflections on the ABBA fan clubs out there, or at least a couple of them.

About three weeks ago I was one of the guests at the annual ABBA Day, arranged by The Official ABBA Fan Club in Roosendaal, The Netherlands (affectionately known simply as "Roo" by regular ABBA Day attendees). As you can see in the picture on this page I was interviewed on stage by Stany van Wymeersch (author of the book Let's Talk About ABBA, which, as I've already blogged about, I think you should buy).

I hadn't attended this event in 15 years, and although I was aware that much had changed since then - for one thing, the event has become much bigger - I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly and positive atmosphere throughout the day. Not that I'd expected any unpleasantness, but I was still unprepared for the pure happiness that seemed to inhabit everyone who was there.

It got me thinking what an amazing thing it is that Helga and Anita (who run the ABBA fan club with the aid of a team of collaborators) have created. Just consider this: the fan club started in 1986, when interest in ABBA was at an all-time low: the ABBA Live album, released that year, barely charted and many countries didn't even bother releasing it. Still, such was Helga and Anita's love for ABBA that they didn't really care what the group's current status was. From a platform of virtually nothing, and for almost three decades, they have built up and sustained an organisation that seems to be stronger than ever, and which attracts several hundred people to the ABBA Day each year. And make no mistake, despite having to keep a cool head when running a fan club like this, they are both still fans at heart: when I left the ABBA Day this year, I had to look up Helga on the dance floor to say goodbye.

Now, in this day and age, many people feel they can get all the information and sense of community they need from the internet. I don't agree. Certainly, there are many internet-based organisations doing a fantastic job, but membership in the official fan club not only gives you a quarterly glossy magazine with exclusive interviews and other interesting features not available online, it also gives you the chance to get exclusive tickets to various ABBA-related events and much more. As you can tell from this page, you get all this for a very modest sum. Plus the fan club runs a well-stocked online shop featuring innumerable ABBA items. 

And don't forget the other long-running fan club, ABBA Intermezzo Fan Club, based in Germany and running since 1990. Regina and her team of collaborators put out a quarterly, large-sized magazine, which, like the official fan club, offers interesting interviews and reports. This is also not to be missed and it's not super expensive either (scroll down this page for prices), plus Regina's fan club also have exclusive offers for fans. And both these mags sometimes even have interviews with the ABBA members themselves, as I've blogged about before.

So what are you waiting for? If you're an ABBA fan you should do yourself a favour and join these clubs. You won't regret it.

 

Interviewed by Stany van Wymeersch at the ABBA Day in Roosendaal, March 29, 2014. Photo: Frank Froidbise.