Take a chance on me: ABBA The Museum

Being a huge fan of pop music, I couldn’t help myself but being a fan of ABBA, the most famous music export from Sweden! One might say I am too young to like a 70s band. But with them it was instant love since I got to listen to the albums and watch the music videos when I was around 12 years old (I’m 24 now). Since the opening of the ABBA Museum in 2013 I had a strong desire to visit it and last month this dream became true!

I went with my best friend and a lovely swedish couple that was hosting us. Right in front of the entrance, in the sidewalk, there’s a board with Bjorn, Agnetha, Frida and Benny, but headless so you can go behind it and become one of the members for a nice picture (of course we couldn’t miss the opportunity).

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The ticket costs 235 Swedish Crowns (around 110 Brazilian Reais or 30 dollars) and that includes an audio guide. The price is a bit steep, but it’s worth and I’ll tell you the reasons why!

Once you scan your ticket at the access gate and get in, you get an elevator to the first floor and see big shinning letters forming the ABBA logo. A photo spot, for sure! Tip: keep your ticket easily accessible, in your pocket e.g.!

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The next room is a big screen where an introduction video is showed.It’s a big summary of the story of the band and their biggest achievements, just to make you even more excited to be there!

The following area presents the pre-ABBA life of each member: first contacts with music, first bands, first performances, photos of when they where teenagers, etc. It also clarifies to you how they met each other in the first place and decided to form the group. Here’s a glimpse of Agnetha’s session:

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Subsequently, the next room highlights the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, which saw our lovely quartet as the winners and since then their career would go stratosferic.

Outfits worn by the ABBA members at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest
Outfits worn by the ABBA members at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest

As we go on, the linear discography of ABBA is showed, but different characteristics that made the group a milestone in the popworld are explored individually: the albums, the tours, the studios, the outfits, and so on.

Remember the vehicle they’re in on the Arrival album cover? Well, you can get inside of that:

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Polar Music Studios, responsible for ABBA’s records, were recreated in the museum and contain replicas of the furniture, instruments and equipment.

Replica of Polar Studios at ABBA The Museum
Replica of Polar Studios at ABBA The Museum

Remember the ticket you scanned and kept easily accessible in your pocket? Now’s time to use it! A lot of interactive activities expect you during the tour, all you have to do is scan your ticket and take part in the ones you want (I did them all, don’t be shy). The first one is a “mixing game” where you have to mix correctly one of ABBA’s hits as you were one of the producers. I chose Super Trouper. Also, next to the studios, there is a recording session room where you can sing one ABBA song (my choice was Money, Money, Money). All the interactivities you decide to take are easily accessible at the official website of the museum ( http://www.abbathemuseum.com/ ) afterwards. All you have to do is type your ticket number, so, once again: keep it easily accessible and DON’T LOSE IT. Your interactive data is available for 30 days after your visit, for you to see and download it if you wish.

There’s also the DRESSING ROOM, where you, once again, scan your ticket, take a picture of your face and see it put in every member of ABBA as you dance to their hit Voulez Vous. Well, we all know ABBA’s extravagant outfits, as much as their singular tracks, were also one of their trademarks. Here’s me as Benny (It seems a bit creepy, but I guarantee it’s very fun):

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ABBA’s music videos were a key factor to disseminate their songs, specially in places where they were never able to perform. So, of course, a part of the museum is dedicated to their music videos and there’s a room where you can make your own music video. They basically record you inside an extract of an ABBA’s music video (I chose Dancing Queen) while you dance along or do whatever you want during it. I won’t post mine here because my dancing skills are not worth showing 😛 .

My favorite interactivity was being the 5th Member of ABBA. Yes, that’s exactly what you imagined! At least for one single performance though. You might have to wait a bit in the line for this one. You enter a stage and join the four ABBA members as holograms and perform a song with them! I chose Mamma Mia and here’s the result (don’t mind my terrible vocals):

A must-take-a-picture spot is for sure next to the ABBA’s real life wax figures. Ofc you can’t touch them or get that close, but still, they look so real you might believe they are real people just posing there.

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In case you’re really feel like the Dancing Queen, there’s a small-sized dancefloor just waiting for you and your friends to dance to all ABBA hits, specially the ones from the Voulez Vous era.

Mamma Mia! The Musical is well demonstrated with some photos and footages of the play around the globe. Mamma Mia! The Movie is, of course, very well represented and the main scenario of the movie (well, the island, you should know about that, right) gain its own miniature.

By the end of the tour you can take a quiz of 8 questions to check if you learnt right the story of the swedish super group (if you didn’t know it already, obvs). But don’t even think you’re about to leave the museum rightaway!

You’re guided through an amazing hall. To be exact, the SWEDISH MUSIC HALL OF FAME: an ilustrated timeline with the best swedish musicians/performers/producers of all time and its achievements. Since the 1930s to nowadays. And when you get to the end of this timeline, you’ll find booths that represent each decade of swedish music.

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Once inside any of them, you’ll bum into touch screens with the images and history of the main artists of the chosen decade and also big TV screens to watch excerpts of their music videos. Being a 90s kid, I went straight to the 90s booth to aprecciate the likes of Ace Of Base, Roxette and The Cardigans. It’s an excellent opportunity to get to know amazing and fun swedish performers. After going through all the decades I have a huge list of artists to check!

Finally, on the way out, you’ll find the souvenir store where you can buy all kinds of ABBA memorabilia you can imagine: CDs, DVDs, posters, keyrings, mugs, Tshirts, pens, magnets, bags, bottoms, official photobooks and biographies, personalized games, etc. Everything here is pricey, so come prepared (with some Money, Money, Money) if you want to collect a lot of stuff!

It takes you around two hours and a half to check everything, but you have some much fun and get so into the ABBA universe that you don’t even realize you spent that amount of time there.

All being said (and done), if you ever have an opportunity to check the ABBA museum DON’T MISS IT!