The European tour 1974/75
ABBA’s first European tour
Actually a folkpark tour with about 25 venues was planned for the summer 1974. Because of the promotion after the victory in Brighton this tour was cancelled on April 16. One can imagine that the folkpark managers were not amused at all. ABBA concentrated on a tour in autumn instead. For this concerts originally were planned even in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Yugoslavia and Spain, but these plans finally were cancelled because of the small hit base. Some additional concerts, for example Zürich (Switzerland), were cancelled because of the lack of interest. The remaining tour was devided into two parts because Agnetha and Björn did not want to be away from their daughter Linda for too long.
‘I remember it as completely miserable.’ According to tour producer Thomas Johansson, it was ABBA’s European record labels who wanted ABBA to promote themselves through a concert tour. With only one major hit in Waterloo to their credit, Björn feels ‘it was too early. We hadn't built up enough credibility to sell out arenas and such.’
Carl Magnus Palm in ABBA Deluxe Edition, liner notes, p. 12
Rehearsals were done around November 5-15, 1974 in Rudbecksskolan, Stockholm-Sollentuna. Prior to the second part of the tour another week of rehearsals was spent at the Jarla theatre in Stockholm.
The tour was an average success only and not sold out everywhere outside Scandinavia. Some concerts even were cancelled because of low interest. Several press reviews were rather negative or written in a mocking way.
We thought that we would be turning some people away here and there. Especially in Germany and in Austria, where our records were always at the top of the charts. We also thought that we would be singing in front of a younger audience. The majority of people in the crowd were at least twenty-five to thirty years old.
With ABBA I had a nice experience. There was this terrible Grand Prix Eurovision which previously has produced some interesting people, see Udo Jürgens or Celine Dion. ABBA were also present at the time, their Waterloo was a huge success. Immediately after the Grand Prix I addressed their Swedish tour producer. He was a friend who has made our concerts in Sweden. I urgently wanted to get ABBA to Germany, but it was a financial flop. People indeed have listened to ABBA, they were the winner of the competition, but they couldn't imagine yet, if that will also be a great night where you get great entertainment for two hours. So I have lost money with the first ABBA tour, but I retrieved this money later by several times through sold-out large halls.
German tour promoter Fritz Rau (2009)
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