‘ABBA Voyage’ Avatar Concerts Pumped Nearly $410 Million Into London Economy This Year

ABBA voyage london economy report
  • Save

ABBA voyage london economy report
  • Save
Photo Credit: ABBA Voyage

The ‘ABBA Voyage’ avatar concerts have pumped nearly $410 million into London’s local economy this year, according to a new study.

ABBA Voyage, the virtual production featuring projections of the band, has brought in nearly $410 million (£320 million) into London’s economy — more than 40% of that generated locally, according to the BBC. The show opened in May 2022, with over a million tickets sold in the first year.

The study, carried out by Sound Diplomacy and RealWorth, and initially reported by the BBC, found that the show at the 3,000-seat ABBA Arena — a £50 million purpose-built facility in Stratford, East London — contributed £322.6 million in spending and £177.7 million in additional economic activity in its first year.

Using projections of the band called “ABBAtars” allows the ABBA Voyage to show every night, while ABBA makes over $2 million a week from the show, according to Bloomberg.

The ABBAtar versions of the Swedish band — Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — were created through motion capture from visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic. The group appears as their iconic 1979-era versions, as the members themselves are now in their 70s.

ABBA Voyage is one of the most expensive productions in music history at about $175 million (£140 million) before the first show, and the venue is 99% full every night, at about $100 per ticket.

The majority of the economic impact in the local London area has come from paying for hotels, food/drink, transportation, and shopping. The average spend per person was £103 in addition to the ticket price, up to £135.

Meanwhile, the report claims that ABBA Voyage has supported over 5,000 jobs in the London area, including those directly employed at the venue and in other sectors that rely on spending by visitors. Nearly half of the non-ticket spend from those from out of town came from elsewhere in the UK, with over 40% from foreign visitors.

“The fantastic success of ABBA Voyage shows once again how London is the music capital of the world and is roaring back from the impact of the pandemic,” said Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. “I am so proud that City Hall was able to help ABBA bring this pioneering show to East London, providing huge benefits to both the local area and London’s wider economy.”