ABBA – 50 years on from Brighton

Saturday April 6 sees the 50th anniversary of Swedish music superstars ABBA winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974. Ever since they were introduced on stage at the Brighton Dome, resplendent in unforgettable platform heels and satin, they have held an enduring place in Britain’s hearts and in British pop culture. “Waterloo” and Brighton was where it all started.

Half a century later the Seventies Eurovision act starring Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid is bigger than ever, spinning off into  musicals, films, museums and holograms. The winning song catapulted the band to international fame, and “Waterloo” became one of the most popular and enduring songs ever. The song shot to No.1 in the UK and stayed there for two weeks, becoming the first of the band’s nine UK chart toppers.

Visit Brighton is encouraging people to visit the city between April 5 and 7 to relive ABBA’s win. There will be ABBA-themed shows, bus rides and painting sessions to say Thank You For The Music. 

An exhibition at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery celebrates the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision win. Walk, dance and sing through ABBA’s visit to Brighton via photographs, film, memories and memorabilia and discover the week that catapulted the band to fame.

In April 1974 Brighton was gripped by Eurovision fever: flags from different countries lined the streets, the contestants were photographed exploring the town and excitement was building. ABBA’s eye-catching outfits ensured that people noticed them even before they stepped on stage. “Waterloo”, their winning song, became the band’s international breakthrough, despite the UK judges giving them no points.

You can relive the excitement of that iconic week at the exhibition through personal stories of people who were there.

At the Brighton Dome there is an event with Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli and other Eurovision stars who will perform ABBA’s greatest hits plus music from the Eurovision songbook backed by the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus.

My My! ABBA Through The Ages by Giles Smith, author and friend of The Record Album, will be launched at Goldsboro Books in Ship Street on May  8 at 6.30pm.