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ABBA ‘Voyage’ boosts London economy with £323million of annual spending

ABBA Voyage boosted London’s economy with nearly £323million in spending turnover within a one year period, according to a new report.

The avatar concert experience – which is continuing to run until at least November 2024 at the 3,000-capacity ABBA Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – provided a huge financial boost to London and the East London area around the venue.

According to research compiled by Sound Diplomacy and RealWorth, the report covers the period of May 2022 to May 2023 and found that the show contributed £322.6million in turnover to the London economy and £177.7m in GVA (Gross Value Added) (per Music Week).

“The operation and attendee spending are ongoing generators of economic contribution to the local and city-wide economies, demonstrating that as long as ABBA Voyage is in London, it has the potential to contribute to the economic wealth of the city,” read the report.

42 per cent of the aforementioned total was generated in the local area – the boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest – which equals £134.1million turnover and £73.7million GVA.

Contributing factors included spending on accommodation, food and beverage, transport, shopping and entertainment.

Additionally, ABBA Voyage has provided employment opportunities to 5,075 workers in London. That includes those directly connected to the concert and sectors impacted by the show including staff in restaurants, sales, hotels and more.

£42.72million (36%) of the direct attendee spend in the local area was attributed to 181,674 international visitors.

Michael Bolingbroke, CEO and executive producer for ABBA Voyage, said: “The presence of ABBA Voyage is felt in a way that will be enduring. Knowing that in our first full year, the operations of ABBA Voyage has had an economic impact in London of £322 million is extraordinary, and our challenge will be to maintain and grow this number, and to ensure that its effects are long lasting.”

In a five-star review of ABBA Voyage, NME described the concert as an “epic avatar mega-mix from a brave new world”. It added: “Ageing rockers and poppers are bound to imitate the idea, but it’ll be a struggle to come close to the experience of ABBA Voyage.”

There are even plans reported for the concert experience to be taken on a world tour.

Speaking to NME earlier this year, ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus opened up about the future of the show. “We hope to stay in this venue for as long as we can,” he shared. “We hope they’ll have us for many years, and we might build other replicas of this in other places: Asia, Australia, North America. There are lots and promoters and cities that we’re talking to at the moment about that.”

As for the potential for a Glastonbury slot, Ulvaeus doesn’t think it’s possible just yet, though added: “It might be in the future.”

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