FestfolkSalvation ArmyBABBAB2

1970/71

The tours

FestfolkBABSet listsThe concerts

Unfortunately there is only rudimentary information about the concerts during these years.

1970 – Premiere at Famagusta

The live premiere of “ABBA” was abroad: in 1970, from April 5 to 16, all four were on vacation in Cyprus. They had an advertisement deal for these holidays with the travel agency Fritidsresor and part of it was a concert for Swedish UN
soldiers. Rehearsals were done on the balconies of ABBA’s appartments at Twiga Tower. Since 1974 it is part of the “forbidden area” and therefore abandoned.

None of the ABBA members seems to remember any part of the set list for this concert of about 15-30 minutes. It presumably included a mix of various Swedish songs. Probably two songs were done together as ‘pre-ABBA’.

1970/71 – Festfolk

In late 1970 and in the spring of 1971 Agnetha, Frida, Benny and Björn toured with a cabaret show, Festfolk, accompanied by the dance band The Lolas. This show was about 45 minutes. ‘Festfolk’ means ‘party people’. There also was a joke about this name because when written as ‘Fästfolk’ it means ’engaged couples’. Rehearsals for this show began in September 1970 at the hotel (?) Sankt Jörgen.

Before the start of the tour they appeared on the radio show Våra favoriter (taped September 29, broadcast October 3) where they performed Frida’s Barnen sover, Agnetha’s Som ett eko and Björn & Benny’s Hej gamle man! from their upcoming solo album. On October 21 or 22 the TV programme Five Minutes Saloon was taped (broadcast December 13) with them performing on the songs Red Roses For A Blue Lady (chorus only) and California Here I Come. And on October 29-30 this was followed by the TV show I stället för Tarzan (broadcast October 31) possibly performing Hej gamle man!.

They usually performed on or around the weekends. According to Frida the audience varied from 14 to about 400. Especially the Festfolk shows were pretty disappointing and are remembered by the ABBA members as a big desaster, with people ordering their meals and raising their glasses to each other during the show.

quoteThis is the low end of the collaboration between the four of us. [...] Because we were not doing what we were supposed to do. We were singing other people’s songs in a kind of cabaret act. Benny and I were doing a number where we supposed to be two little boys. [...] It was embarrassing, but it was after that tour that we realized, our own songs that's we should do.

Björn in Sunday Night Show Special: Agnetha speaks, Channel 7, Australia, May 2013

quoteIt was not a success, generally comprising of a thin spread of vapid jokes and other people’s songs.

Agnetha, As I Am, p. 37

quoteLuckily, the show was never recorded. This was when we learned exactly what we should not be doing.

Björn, Bright Lights, Dark Shadows 2014, p.150

quote[Hej gamle man!] got absolutely the best audience reaction of all the numbers in the show. That’s when we really knew that we should concentrate on doing our own material in the future – it was a kind of turning point.

Björn, The Complete Recording Sessions 2017, p. 32

A following summer tour with all four together may have been dropped because of their experiences with spending so much time together so closely.

quoteIt’s not a good idea to both work and live together. It’s easier to get in a bad mood. We sat in the car together, dined together, performed together, checked in the hotel together. It was just too much.

Frida, Bright Lights, Dark Shadows 2014

quoteI guess, it’s just too much, to both work and live together. You get on each other’s nerves in the end. Even if you don’t want to have a fight, you still do sometimes, and it’s hard to go onstage and look happy afterwards.

Agnetha, Bright Lights, Dark Shadows 2014

Top of page1971 – The BAB tour

While Frida toured with Lasse Berghagen from May 1971 on, Agnetha, Björn and Benny did an own folkpark tour with 60 shows, starting on April 30. They performed cover versions and several of Agnetha’s songs during a show lasting for about 30-45 minutes, accompanied by Göran Lagerberg (bass) and Kjell Jeppson (drums).

quoteIt’s a charming show from the trio Agnetha, Björn and Benny. They are good on stage and Björn and Agnetha seem very loving as a couple. In total there are ten songs which are very chart-oriented, although some of the songs are quite weak. Most memorable is a superb version of Graham Nash’s Teach Your Children and two amusing sketches. Björn Ulvaeus still sings with a little nasal sound which is characteristic of him, whilst Miss Fältskog is still limited vocally. I’m sure that will change over the years...

Hans Fridlund in Expressen (according to ABBA The Book p. 53-54)

quoteThe show is sincere, simple and very “hit parade”. Agnetha Fältskog has more stage presence and sings more in tune now. Björn Ulvaeus got lots of applause for Hej gamle man and for his duets. As for Benny Andersson, he’s a real stage animal these days. But it looks like they’ve gone for the easy option. It’s a shame they don’t put more into different songs. Benny is one of our rare real composeres.

Bengt Malin in Aftonbladet (according to ABBA The Book p. 53-54)

Inbetween the tour (on July 6) Agnetha and Björn got married, Björn & Benny worked on other projects and Agnetha recorded her album När en vacker tanke blir en sang.

  • Set list Festfolk

    Set list

    The first Festfolk shows (around 45 minutes) included the following songs:

    • opening: Skriva låter (“Writing Songs”, a medley of pre-group songs written by Björn, Benny and Agnetha)
    • Arga unga män, förenen eder!
      (sung by Björn & Benny, a medley of “The Internationale” and other anthems and protest songs with altered lyrics by Bosse Carlgren)
    • Barnen sover (sung by Frida) Follow this link to listen
    • Tre kvart från nu (sung by Frida)
    • Vi är väninnor (sung by Agnetha & Frida)
    • Som ett eko (?, sung by Agnetha)
    • plus other songs (Vem kan segla förutan vind ?)
    • final: Tyck om varann (new lyrics to Hej, gamle man! by Bosse Carlgren, sung by all)
      by the end of November this was replaced with the orignal version of Hej, gamle man!

    (mainly based on information in ABBA The Book and Bright Lights, Dark Shadows)

    quoteA couple of months after my début as a lyricist for stage shows I was contacted by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and asked to write material together with Peter Himmelstrand for a show with four young musicians who already had made names for themselves. Benny from rock band the Hep Stars, Björn from the folk group Hootenanny Singers, and the singers Anni Frid and Agnetha who had great solo careers well under way. [...] I can still remember the way Björn and Benny looked when they performed “Arga unga män... / Angry Young Men, Unite!” dressed as small children from a daycare centre. A couple of years laters acts like this one would be impossible to furnish ABBA with, but it worked for Festfolk.

    Bosse Carlgren

  • Set list Agnetha, Björn & Benny

    Set list

    The 1971 concerts by Agnetha, Björn and Benny included these songs:

    • Hej, gamle man! and other own hits
    • cover version of Teach Your Children (original by Graham Nash)
    • Arga unga män (Angry Young Men) – comic sketch by Bosse Carlgren
    • Koshenkorva (name of a Finnish vodka brand) – comic sketch by Lars Berghagen
    • songs from Agnetha’s upcoming album När en vacker tanke blir en sang which she recorded during the tour (varying from venue to venue):
      • Mitt sommarland
      • Jag vill att du ska bli lycklig
      • Kungens vaktparad
      • Han lämnar mig för att komma till dig
      • Om tarar vore guld
      • Tagen kan ka igen
      • Manga gänger an
      • Kanske var min kind lite het
    • a review also mentions the song “Svea”
    • total length of set: about 10-12 songs, about 30-45 minutes
    • musicians: Kjell Jeppson (drums), Göran Lagerberg (bass)
  • Links & sources

    Links

 

Top of pageThe Concerts

Several venues could be traced by old newspaper snippets or by recent media reports found online. Nevertheless these hints often are very few. Therefore information in many cases is incomplete or requires further confirmation.

Click on an entry to open/close a window with details.

  • 1970, early (?) – Åre (Sweden)

    1970-71

    Åre, Hotell Granen

    Venue according to abbaofficial on Instagram:

    quoteLooks like ABBA made one performance in the basement, beginning of 1970. Does any of you have information about this?

    Has the ABBA story to be re-written regarding their first performance or would early 1971 just be more likely?

  • 1970, April 10 – Famagusta (Cyprus)

    Cyprus Verosia

    Famagusta, Peroquet night club

    Of course this concert wasn’t part of any tour, but it was the first concert ever featuring the four members together.

    Facts & trivia

    • All four were on vacation in Cyprus from April 5 to 16, 1970. They had an advertisement deal for these holidays with the travel agency Fritidsresor and part of it was a concert for Swedish UN soldiers. Rehearsals were done on the balconies of ABBA’s appartments at Twiga Tower.Since 1974 it is part of the “forbidden area” and therefore abandoned.
    • None of the ABBA members seems to remember any part of the set list for this concert of about 15-30 minutes. It presumably included a mix of their Swedish songs. Probably two songs were done as ‘pre-ABBA’.

    quoteAs I worked with Fritidsresor in Cyprus at that time I remember it very well.
    The four of the later ABBA group came to entertain the Swedish UN batallion. [...]
    I was asked to be the conférencier and it worked out well. The four did their performance very well and when all seemed to end I turned to the four and asked them if they could do anything together. They talked to each other and finally they came up to perform all four together. It was fantastic to listen to all four of them together. All of  us loved this performance.

    Goran Wrambeck

     

      Many thanks to Goran for some detailed information and clarification.

  • 1970, October 31 onwards – Gothenburg (Sweden)

    Tragarn2Tragarn197011011970stage

    Gothenburg, Trägår’n

    Facts & trivia

    • Show time: 16.00-16.45 (begin may have differed)
    • Audience: low at the first shows

    quoteThe premiere, at Tradgar’n restaurant in Gothenburg, saw a few scattered couples at tables in an otherwise empty auditorium. It could have meant a premature end for the budding ABBA quartet.

    As I Am, p. 37

    quoteWhat is the worst job you’ve done?
    A cabaret act with Agnetha, Frida and Benny. It was in a nightclub in Gothenburg and one night we had seven in the audience. It was before we found out that we were a pop group.

    Björn in an interview with The Guardian, June 20, 2020

    quote...although the opening performance of Festfolk attracted benevolent reviews, audiences decided to give this one a miss. There was something inherently wrong in the set-up: the four members were certainly popular and knew how to perform a song onstage, but none of them seemed comfortable delivering a joke or performing comedy skits. The natur of the restaurant audience didn’t make their task easier. “It’s a pretty undemanding crowd, but they eat and drink during the show,” said Björn. “Just when you feel that you’ve reached the audience, someone [raises a glass to his dinner companions and] says: ‘Cheers!’”

    Bright Lights, Dark Shadows 2014, p.149/150

    Set list

    • opening: Skriva låter (“Writing Songs”, a medley of pre-group songs written by Björn, Benny and Agnetha)
    • Arga unga män, förenen eder!
      (sung by Björn & Benny, a medley of “The Internationale” and other anthems and protest songs with altered lyrics by Bosse Carlgren)
    • Barnen sover (sung by Frida)
    • Tre kvart från nu (sung by Frida)
    • Vi är väninnor (sung by Agnetha & Frida)
    • final: Tyck om varann (Hej, gamle man! with new lyrics by Bosse Carlgren, sung by all)
      by the end of November this was replaced with the orignal version of Hej, gamle man!
    • Som ett eko (?, sung by Agnetha)
    • plus other songs (Vem kan segla förutan vind ?)

    Links

  • 1970, November 29 – Gothenburg (Sweden)

    Gothenburg, Pettersson & Katz

    Facts & trivia

    • “Välkommen till Kungstorget” – a balcony cabaret show at the Pettersson & Katz fashion store together with
      Lill-Babs, Siljabloo Nilsson and Lasse Dahlqvist, the audience was standing on the street below.
    • Begin: 13.00
    • Audience: 15,000

    Abba uppträder på Pettersson & Katz balkong en kall novemberdag 1970 tillsammans med Lill-Babs, Siljabloo Nilsson och Lasse Dahlqvist med sina luciaflickor.

    Description of a picture showing Agnetha and Benny, listed at the Swedish photo agency Kamerareportage.

  • 1970, December 1-20 – Stockholm (Sweden)

    1970 Stockholm

    Stockholm, Strands Cabaret

    Facts & trivia

    • Begin: 23.15

    For the concerts at Strands Cabaret in Stockholm the original version of Hej gamle man was added to the set list which was a big success.
     

    quoteWe included that song in our wretched show when we took it to the Strand in Stockholm and it got absolutely the best audience reaction of all the numbers in the show. That’s when we really knew that we should concentrate on doing our own material in the future – it was a kind of turning point.

    Björn in ABBA. The Complete Recording Sessions, p. 12

    quoteThen we decided to take our show to Strand in Stockholm, and started using Björn and Benny’s Hej gamle man (Hello Old Man),  from their album Lycka (Happiness) [...]. A song from Frida’s album, Tre kvart fran nu (Three Quarters Of An Hour From Now) lifted things, too. Frida and I really pushed Hej gamle man and it became a hit as soon as it came out.

    Agnetha in As I Am, p. 37

    Set list

    • opening: Hej, gamle man!
    • Skriva låter (medley of pre-group songs written by Björn, Benny and Agnetha)
    • Arga unga män, förenen eder!
      (sung by Björn & Benny, to the tune of the Internationale and other anthems and protest songs)
    • Barnen sover (sung by Frida)
    • Tre kvart från nu (sung by Frida)
    • Vi är väninnor (sung by Agnetha & Frida)
    • plus other songs (Vem kan segla förutan vind ?)

    Reviews

    press Santa Claus on the nice hook

    “Party people” is called December’s cabaré at restaurant Strand in Stockholm. Fortunately, fortunate people are happy – or should be – fortunately, the two couples who show this show are: Annifrid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus. So inside watery happy. There is a heavy air of Santa Claus over the fine gold hook.
    Had this show continued a quarter of an hour, I would have needed a bittern to not shout loudly. It is a shame, for all four of the people involved should have much more to give than to stand as a shovel gets in this idyll as gall-brittle. Though Björn and Benny have some of their own songs, and it helps up some, but not everything.
    For this reason, you become so happy – a meal, it is obviously infecting: grateful is a better word – for Annifrid Lyngstad’s “Three quarters from now”, a tournament on the endless theme “the second woman to the man
    gone”. It could have become sticky and clumsy, but instead it was unsentimental and delicate in the right way.
    An excellent interpretation – Annifrid Lyngstad grows here several inches on the stage – of an excellent text, by Peter Himmelstrand. And a brave grip on building the number of an old piano piece by Anton Rubinstein,
    1829-94.
    The same brave joke takes for the background orchestra The Lolas. No, this is not a background orchestra: it has been a long time since I heard such a versatile and broadly impressive orchestra of this kind. The popular musical sector: jazz, Glenn Miller, evergreens, ultramodern bluespop etc., this band and Annifrid Lyngstad were the evening’s hold.

    Dagens Nyheter (?) – December 3, 1970

    press More courage and sting

    “Festivals” they call themselves – four young people who joined forces for a show at Strand’s cabaret. The couples are Agneta Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, Annifrid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson. They perform themselves sweet, young and unmade. Something really bite in part will not be done yet, but it is not directly boring either. It is the old common story that it takes a certain time before the really young people in the game learn that show business is among the hardest that exists and that basket show business is even more difficult.
    They are on the right path, I think, when they mix up the sweet of young or bittersweet love filled with the hands of more handsome songs such as “Angry Young Men Unite You” which is really about the very small children’s problems with kindergartens and anything else. Sometimes they understand from their arrangement that they feel more in music than they dare to show. A little more courage and thus much more training in the scenic performance! I think so. But the audience was completely satisfied with the whole thing as it was and that is the main thing. Until further notice.

    Ulla-Britt Edberg – December 3, 1970

  • 1971, January 6 – Gothenburg (Sweden)

    71Gothenburg71sam

    Gothenburg, Konserthuset

    Facts & trivia

    • performance at the Salvation Army meeting
    • ABBA didn't charge anything, they only got some money for their travel costs
    • as Hej gamle man was inspired by the story of a salvation army member in Västervik some salvation army members joined ABBA for the chorus.

    quoteIt was an incredibly warm and saturated atmosphere when the song was performed in the context and many were touched by the performance and the background to the song.

    Sven Nilsson,former national youth secretary

    Set list

    • Hej gamle man
    • Vem kan segla förutan vind (Who can sail without wind)
    • and others – usual set list as in the Festfolk shows?

    Links

  • 1971, January / February – Sweden

    71tour1971stage2

    January/February 1971

    Facts & trivia

    • some concerts in Sweden by Agnetha, Björn and Benny only
    • Gävle, Centralhotellet (February)
      Söderhamn, Stadt
      Sundsvall, Strand
      Umeå, Dragonen
      Örnsköldsvik, Stadt
      Luleå, Savoy
  • 1971, March 14 – Hammarby (Sweden)

    19710314

    Hammarby, OK Biva-Huset service station

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Frida, Björn and Benny
    • Begin: 16.30

    Set list

    • probably similiar to their other concerts
  • 1971, April 29 (?) – Borlänge / Avesta (Sweden)

    Borlänge

    according to Dagens Nyheter, April 24, 1971

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny


    Avesta

    according to Dagens Nyheter, April 24, 1971

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
  • 1971, April 30 – Lidköping / Alingsås (Sweden)

    Lidköping

    Lidköping

    Facts & trivia

    • first concert of the Agnetha, Björn & Benny tour

     

    Alingsås, Alingsåsparken

    Facts & trivia

    • Begin: before midnight
    • audience: 900

    Review

    press Four became three
    Agneta Fältskog, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Alingsås and Lidköping

    The cute quartet who, in autumn and winter, pleased the crowd around Sweden has now burst a bit: Annifrid Lyngstad travels this summer with the Lasse Berghagen Show instead. But the other three hold together. Most of the material has been heard before, only a new song has been added for this tour, a kind of Swedish song called “Svea”.
    The show is quite simple: in half an hour, the trio is able to tear off eight songs in a fairly quick succession, with Björn Ulvaeus as a small-talking central and midnight figure.
    Benny and Björn have, with faith in their habits, picked up several own songs. Otherwise, it is easily mixed, by, among others, Lasse Berghagen and Graham Nash. And a potpourri with some of Agnetha Fältskog’s
    successes. Her voice, however, is a bit difficult to achieve sometimes.
    Competences consist of Kjell Jeppson, drums, and on bass Göran Lagerberg, born Tages and Blond. In Alingsås about 900 people listened. Everyone participated in the notes, especially when it was time for “Hej, gamle man”.
    The trio travels this summer only during the weekends. Some 60 places are visited.

    Dagens Nyheter, May 2, 1971

  • 1971, May 8 – Örebro (Sweden)

    Örebro, Sommaren Parken

    Facts & trivia

  • 1971, May 9 – Degerfors (Sweden)

    71Degerforsparken

    Degerfors

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
  • 1971, May 14 – Gothenburg (Sweden)

    Gothenburg, Liseberg

  • 1971, May 15 (?) – Åhus (Sweden)

    71Åhus

    Åhus, Folkets Park

    This venue still needs to be confirmed.

    Facts & trivia

    • Information refers to a picture of Agnetha leaving a tour bus. The description says ‘May 1970’, so either this is wrong and it actually must be 1971 or it was a solo concert. Articles by Kristianstadsbladet mention a concert of ABBA at Åhus though.

    Links

  • 1971, May 22 – Gävle / Östervåla (Sweden)

    Gävle

    Gävle

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny

     

    Östervåla

  • 1971, May 29 – Torsby (Sweden)

    Torsby

  • 1971, unknown dates – Kristianstad / Karlshamn / Linköping (Sweden)

    Kristianstad

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny


    Karlshamn

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny


    Linköping

    Linköping

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny


    Tierp

    Facts & trivia

    • a Thursday during July-August
  • 1971, June 4 – Simontorp / Norrköping (Sweden)

    Simontorp, Parken

    Norrköping, Parken,

  • 1971, June 5 – Huskvarna / Hultsfred (Sweden)

    Huskvarna

    Hultsfred

  • 1971, June 15 – Stockholm (Sweden)

    1971061519710615b

    Stockholm, Skansen (Solliden)

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny performed for the televison programme Midsommardans fran Solliden shown on
      June 25 by SVT2.
        • Mitt sommarland
        • Jag vill att du ska bli lycklig
        • Kungens vaktparad
    • Begin of complete event: 20.30

    Recordings

    • don’t seem to exist
  • 1971, June 26 – Säter (Sweden)

    1971 Säterdalen1971 Säterdalen poster

    Säter, Säterdalens Folkpark

    Facts & trivia

    • concert by Agnetha, Björn and Benny
    • Begin: 24.00
  • 1971, June 27 – Boras / Västergötland (Sweden)

    Västergötland

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny


    Boras (?)

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
    • Begin: 24.00
  • 1971, July 10 – Mora / Rättvik (Sweden)

    Mora, Folkpark

    Rättvik, Folkpark

  • 1971, July 4 – Kolbäck (Sweden)

    Kolbäcks, Folkpark

  • 1971, July 10/11 – Stockholm area (Sweden)

    Stockholm area, unknown venues

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
    • three concerts
    • Agnetha’s Manga gänger an added to set list
  • 1971, July 12 – Västervik (Sweden)

    Västervik, Visfestivalen

  • 1971, July 16-18 – Uppsala area: Skutskär / Gävle (?) (Sweden)

    Uppsala area, unknown venues

    Skutskär one of these venues?


    71Skutskär

    Skutskär, Holmarna Folkets Park

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
    • according to Arbetarbladet (April 11, 2012) ABBA performed here as Festfolk
  • 1971, July 31 – Nyköping (Sweden)

    Nyköping

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
    • Begin: evening
  • 1971, July/August – Tierp (Sweden)

    Tierp

  • 1971, August 1 – Stockholm (Sweden)

    19710801

    Stockholm, Kungsträdgarden

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
    • Begin: 19.30
  • 1971, August 6 - Ängelholm (Sweden)

    Ängelholm

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
  • 1971, August – West Sweden

    West Sweden

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
    • concerts in the areas of Göteborg and Uddevalla
    • details unknown
  • 1971, August – Odensjö / Gränna (Sweden)

    Odensjö

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny


    Gränna

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
  • 1971, August 19 – Stockholm (Sweden)

    19710819

    Stockholm, Malmen club

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
    • Showtime for the complete event was from 21.00 until 2.30
  • 1971, August 27 – Västerås (Sweden)

    Västerås

    Facts & trivia

    • Agnetha, Björn and Benny
  • 1971, August 28 – Köping / Eskilstuna (Sweden)

    Köping

    Facts & trivia


    Eskilstuna, Folkets Park

    Facts & trivia

 

Top of pageNext page

ABBA The Concerts
ABBA live 1970-1982

TheConcerts