- Timo Kiviluoma
Would you dare to answer if ABBA called you?
It was a grey and rainy March day in Stockholm, a perfect time to visit ABBA The Museum. We took a ferryboat from Slussen to Djurgården; there were lots of children aboard, whom we guessed were visiting a different museum. ABBA The Museum is the new member of the Djurgården museum family, located just next to Gröna Lund Amusement Park.
Buying museum tickets turned out to be a bit tricky – they recommend that you buy tickets from a web store, and there’s a discount available, but you need to know exactly what time you are going to arrive, which they call the “slot-time”. No waiting time at the museum is their promise in return for this, but it’s impossible to set your own timetable so tightly when you are on a holiday. If the weather is good, Djurgården is a beautiful place to walk round while waiting to go in, but unfortunately there are so many rainy days a year in Stockholm. For practical reasons it would be better to buy tickets in the museum and pay a service fee.
The ticket prices are high compared with any other museum. They say that ABBA The Museum is more than an ordinary museum, that it has much more to offer. Maybe, but you get the same kind of interactivity offered at a more reasonable price at Rockheim in Norway, which as a country is generally very expensive. If you are a true ABBA fan who lived your teenage years in the 1970s and 80s with ABBA songs, you’d pay the price anyway: it would be worth hundreds of Swedish kronas because of your memories.
The whole experience took over two hours for us; there are so many ways to interact. You discover what it would feel like to be the fifth member of ABBA, how you would look in their legendary stage costumes, whether you would dare to sing their hits at the Polar Studio, and you even get to go on stage with the band. Each museum ticket has a personal ID number and barcode that records all your material and saves it in a web service.
The most tickling idea in the museum is an old red telephone. Only four people – you know who they are – in the entire world have the number for that phone. Would you dare to answer if it rang?
ABBA’s costumes were almost as famous as their music, and there’s an excellent collection of them in the museum. Up close, most of them are simply bizarre. More usual museum stuff includes personal stories from the band members, an amazing number of gold and platinum records, and all kinds of ABBA trivia. The movie theatre is a good place to rest your feet while watching legendary ABBA music videos.
Would I recommend ABBA The Museum? Definitely yes, if you lived your youth listening to ABBA songs and loved the disco mania of the 1970s and 80s. And even if you are younger and only love a few ABBA songs, there are a lot of strange and funny things to discover, which alone is reason enough to pay the high ticket price.