Ten years ago on 6th April 2004 I undertook a day of promotions to officially launch ABBAFEST – a weekend of festivities in Brighton commerating the 30th anniversary of ABBA winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo.
This combined an interview on UK’s premier breakfast TV programme GMTV and afterwards I was whisked to the BBC in Portland Place for various radio interviews with the local stations throughout the UK.
Vaughan Davies continues....
The GMTV crew flew to Guernsey for the day to film the Guernsey Little Chapel and interview the family amongst lights and wires throughout the house.
It really was a great experience as they all lunched on Gina’s homemade ham and cheese baguettes.
The idea for ABBAFEST came about two years earlier when I contacted David Courtney who lived and ran his business in Brighton. David was involved in Adam Faith’s band in the 60’s and in the 70’s hit upon the idea to run a contest to find a new local music sensation.
This resulted in a long lasting collaboration with Leo Sayer. Working with Roger Daltrey they both wrote and produced the Giving it all Away album for Roger.
After several meetings David and I had a variety of sponsors on board including the Brighton Argus newspaper, the Brighton Centre, Southern Trains and Murray Media and the idea to commemorate this historic win was finally launched.
Although none of the ABBA members could personally attend Benny and Bjorn sent a wonderful personal video message to launch the event and our ABBA associates Anders Hanser, Carl-Magnus Palm together with Owe Sandstrom flew over for the weekends festivities.
Through ABBA’s management company in Sweden much promotional material including items signed by all four members was given away as prizes.
The weekend itself kicked off on Friday with the Royal Philharmonic giving an ABBA tribute concert at the Dome.
This was followed by an Event 2 nightclub with an ABBA tribute band. The Saturday itself kicked off at the Brighton Centre with our fan club convention a sort of work shop with Anders on stage showing some of his fantastic photographic memories of ABBA, then Carl Magnus ABBA historian being interviewed as he discussed his involvement with various related projects.
The highlight was Owe who bought over several ABBA original costumes even the original Waterloo costumes made a special appearance too!
In the evening 6000 fans attended the “Charts of 74” a concert at the Brighton centre as we were entertained by Showwaddy, Rubettes, Boney M and Bjorn Again.
The next day many fans took part in a “ walk of fame Abba walking tour of Brighton” re tracing the steps of the ABBA’s time spent in the town, followed by a remastered ABBA the movie held at the historic cinema Prince of Wales, the afternoon down at the Brighton was a family ABBA day thus ending a wonderful weekend which I was so pleased to have organised and played a part in.
Above Vaughan with Frida backstage at the 1979 ABBA concert at Wembley London and below his extensive ABBA collection
Its been ten years already since ABBA FEST 2004 which marked the 30th anniversary of ABBA winning the Eurovision song contest, Vaughan Davies talks to the ABBA Experience about his various meetings with ABBA and his interview with GMTV