Visiting the ABBA Weekend - Is it for me?
That's something I've read a few times in forums and various online groups - ABBA fans wondering whether to go or not to go. Besides practical obstacles like distance, illness or a lack of funds, I don't think there are many reasons not to attend an International ABBA Weekend at least once in your lifetime.
Friday night is a great warm-up:
- an informal atmosphere at the pub – everyone is happy to chat and make you feel welcome, with many locals from Roosendaal joining in because it's such a fun night;
- ABBA music non-stop;
- the, by now, legendary quiz with great prizes;
- party into the early hours of the morning if you have the stamina.
Some of the regular fun things on Saturday are:
- a free, exclusive gift at the entrance (a poster, a button, or a single specially pressed for the Fan Club, for example);
- on-stage activities, special guests who perform, make a presentation or are being interviewed. In the past we had guests like Owe Sandström, Ludvig Andersson, Görel Hanser, Rune Söderqvist and many others;
- see special things - often there is a small exhibition with souvenirs and/or photos;
- when you enter the quiz, you can win nice prizes like posters and autographed items;
- a large room full of new and 2nd hand records and merchandise for sale. It's ideal to find that one item that's still missing from your collection;
- a video screen showing old and new video clips. When was the last time you saw something ABBA-related on a really large screen;
- It's a great opportunity to share your love for ABBA with like-minded people (no funny looks like friends and family sometimes give you when you're talking about ABBA). There are tables and chairs to have a chat and a drink together, with the bar serving food and drink all day;
- ABBA disco – sure, it's fun to dance to ABBA in your living room, but nothing can beat the experience of hearing ABBA songs played out loud and to dance to them in a room full of like-minded people while the music still goes on.
"It sounds lovely, but will I fit in and enjoy it? Do you have any tips?"These are two of the most asked questions when a new ABBA Weekend date has been announced. The group of ABBA fans attending the ABBA Weekend is quite diverse; you can see youngsters as well as pensioners, people from very different walks of life. I think fans from all continents, besides Antarctica, visited the ABBA Weekend this year. You'll notice there are shy people and some loud ones, some are unemployed while others have high profile jobs, and fans with ill health enjoy the day to the best of their capability. We're all there because of our mutual love of ABBA, and so the differences between people aren't important - it's what brings us together that counts. The atmosphere is relaxed, and you can hear many different languages (mostly Dutch, English, German and French).
There are various ways to spend your day:
- some fans only browse through the merchandise and records and when they're done, they'll go home;
- some fans will be there to sell the ABBA stuff they no longer need or want;
- some fans will browse through the stuff at the stalls and pause for the special guests/the videos on the screen;
- some fans take the opportunity to catch up with other ABBA fans who they only meet once a year at ABBA Weekends or to meet others they have met on the internet in the flesh;
- some fans will only arrive at 7 pm for the annual ABBA disco.
What I'm trying to say is that it's up to you how to spend your time. Some stay from start to finish and others only for a few hours - it's all good! Of course, many of you just cannot get enough of it all and return to the Friday pub after the disco to party on and on and on.
If you're dreading to go all alone, try to get into contact with other fans before the event. There are quite a few online forums, communities or groups to get to know other fans, and then you can join forces. You could also place an ad in the "I Got Something" section in the magazine if there is still sufficient time.