Abba respond to rumours they could perform at Eurovision in Sweden next year
Abba stars Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have extinguished fans’ hopes of both a potential reunion performance at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest and a third Mamma Mia film.
Following Swedish act Loreen’s win at the 2023 competition in Liverpool earlier this month, the next iteration of the music contest will take place in Sweden in 2024.
The event will mark 50 years since Abba’s historic win with “Waterloo”, and many had predicted that the disco stars could reunite on stage at the grand final.
Speaking to Newsnight, however, Ulvaeus and Andersson said that there was “no way” that they’ll perform, or even appear together on stage – simply because they’re not very keen.
“I don’t want to. 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,” Andersson explained in Thursday’s edition (25 May) of the BBC news programme.
“We can celebrate 50 years of Abba without us being on stage,” Ulvaeus added.
The band is formed of Andersson, Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, with the initials of the members’ first names forming the “ABBA” acronym.
Although the group have remained friendly throughout the years, they officially disbanded in 1982 and last performed in public in 1986. In 2016, Swedish media reported that they sang together at a private party.
The Newsnight interview coincides with Abba celebrating one year of their virtual concert experience, Abba Voyage, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
As well as this, the band’s music has remained in high rotation with the popularity of the Mamma Mia films, based on the Abba-soundtracked stage musical.
The second film, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was the UK’s second-highest-grossing film of 2018, after Avengers: Infinity War.
Despite the success of the films, Abba are also doubtful about a third outing.
“People want to do it. Universal wants to do it. [Producer] Judy Craymer wants to do it,” Andersson explained.
But without substantial changes to the franchise, such as a new setting or an irresistibly good script, Andersson declared: “There’s not going to be a next Mamma Mia film.
“That’s just wishful thinking.’’
Newsnight airs at 10.30pm on BBC Two on Thursday 25 May.