Logo ABBA Day 2014

International ABBA Day - 29 March 2014

The International Fan Gathering

ABBA Day 2014 visitors were treated to:

Report by Andre Hyde

ABBA Day souvenir
1975 - the year I first heard of ABBA - I've listened to them endlessly since, watched them on TV and read the books. I have met a lot of people because of ABBA and had many fab experiences over my thirty-eight years as a fan.

However, there was one experience that I had missed out on; I had not been to Roosendaal. Asperger Syndrome played a large part in this, with a fear of crowds and social situations. Last year, I came to the realisation that the ABBA Weekend was something that every ABBA fan should do at least once.

I was somewhat nervous and nearly chickened out, thinking to myself, I cannot do this, but I got on the train on Friday and caught up with friends. Together, we travelled to Roosendaal and checked into our hotels.

'Napoleon' was also there
After dinner, we went to De Moriaan. It was good to see friends again – some of whom I had not seen for years. The quiz was fun; I got quite a few answers right - but not enough to win anything, and so it was back to the drinking, chatting and dancing…

Saturday, of course, was the main event. The first surprise was the exclusive souvenir single at the door, and then I felt like a kid in a sweet shop as I walked around looking at everything people had for sale. How I wished I could win the Lottery - instantly… I managed to find the two vinyl singles I had been looking for – Ljuva Sextital by Brita Borg and Agnetha's It's So Nice To Be Rich. I bought a few other items, including ABBA – The Treasures and had it signed by Ingmarie Halling. The next couple of hours were spent talking to other fans and convincing myself that I did not need to spend any more money on ABBA. There was temptation everywhere…

Jeppe is presented with the Dutch version

Writers signing books
In the afternoon, we had a presentation with Jeppe Wikström after a short introduction by the Dutch publisher and interviews with Ingmarie Halling and Carl Magnus Palm. Unfortunately, I have the attention span of a goldfish and find it impossible to sit still for more than five minutes. Thankfully, not everyone is like me, and there were large audiences appreciating everything that was said. After a meal in town during the break, I returned for the ABBA disco. I am normally quite inhibited, but there were so many fans dancing that it was easy for me to join in; there was a great party atmosphere. All of our favourite ABBA songs were played, my favourite part of the whole weekend. It went too quickly though and, before long, we were all standing in a circle, holding hands to The Way Old Friends Do. It was quite emotional, and I do not think anyone wanted it to end. Anyway, most of us carried on partying at De Moriaan...

I had a great weekend – just loved it. I am so glad I got over my fears and finally made it to Roosendaal.

I just cannot wait for next year...

A lot of people watching the presentations/interviews
Mamma Mia! exhibition
Waterloo exhibition