The best-loved songs of Abba will ring out across the Folkestone skyline as the sun sets on Saturday’s festivities.
Bjorn Again is coming to the Folkestone Air Show
An outdoor performance of the world’s most successful Abba show, Björn Again, will thrill ticketholders to the seafront concert.
The show’s creator, Australian Rod Stephens, talked What’s On through the unlikely journey that the musical and humorous show has taken over the past 26 years to become this Saturday night’s main event.
“I was working as a research scientist in Melbourne in 1988, but in my own time I had been in many bands,” says Rod, now 55. “I hadn’t been a particular fan of Abba in the 1970s but by 1988 Abba had been completely forgotten about, and so I thought it was perfect timing to do that nostalgic trip back.”
It was still four years before the Abba Gold album would be released, and so Rod’s Björn Again show was at the very forefront of what would soon become a worldwide revival. But even within year one it took off to such an extent that Rod eventually abandoned his job as a research scientist to pursue the international demand for Björn Again.
By 1991, he’d built up such a brand that Rod was the guy whom the original band called upon when they were considering whether to release Abba Gold, which they did in ’92.
“Benny and Björn called us to a meeting in Stockholm and wanted us to appear on TV to promote Abba Gold, as they themselves had disbanded. They weren’t confident, but I said ‘Björn Again is really popular and people who used to hate your music now love your music’.
“The whole thing went huge. We just rode on the crest of that wave and were so in demand in the ’90s. There was a second wave when the movie Mamma Mia was released in 2008.”
Rod explains the show’s appeal. “Björn Again is a choreographed and scripted show, and there’s been investment in the stage sets and costumes, we’ve copied original Abba costumes.”
Rod himself has at different times played both Björn and Benny but, with the show continuing to be booked all over the world, there have been over 150 performers in the line-up over the years.
“I could never have foreseen what Björn Again would become. When it started I had mentally given it a year or two and never thought it could outstrip the longevity of Abba but, ridiculously, it’s just kept propelling forward.”
Björn Again is at Folkestone seafront on Saturday, June 7 at 7pm. Tickets are available in advance from a cost of £15 for adults, £8.50 for children under 14, and £40 for a family ticket. Tickets will cost more on the night itself. To buy advance tickets online visit folkestoneairshow.comTags: concert, movie, music, release, tv