Do you want to view this website in the region of your choice?

North America or Close

Service number+1 747 229 9190
LED stage

Central Role for ROE Visual LED at the ABBA Voyage

Solotech Selects ROE Visual LED to Display Avatar Act

Leek, The Netherlands (June 21, 2022) – Taking many months of meticulous preparations, the highly anticipated ABBA Voyage premiered at the ABBA Arena on May 26 in London. The special created Abbatars were displayed on a vast ROE Visual LED wall supplied by Solotech.

This eagerly anticipated live music event of the decade, ABBA Voyage, had its premiere in the purpose-built ABBA Arena, designed by Stufish Entertainment Architects in London, bringing the 70s supergroup back to the stage in a seamless blend of the virtual and physical worlds.

Based on a whole new concept, the show adds a new element to the live music experience by blurring the lines between computer-generated imagery (CGI) and reality that can only be seen in person to understand fully. The Guardian calls it a "jaw-dropping avatar act destined to be copied."

Picture by John Persson

Swedish pop royalty ABBA spent five weeks in a film studio wearing figure-hugging motion capture suits during the development of the ABBA Voyage. The performers worked with George Lucas' special effects company, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), known for its work on movies such as  Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Some 160 cameras scanned their bodies, recording every movement and facial expression, to develop the avatars which drive the live show. Body doubles were also used to give the ageing band members, now in their seventies, more youthful movements. According to Billboard Magazine, over 1,000 visual-effects artists and one billion computing hours went into making the performers' "ABBA-tars". These ABBA-tars appear on a vast 65-million-pixel ROE Visual LED screen, pictured life-size on stage and in photo-realistic close-ups.

Picture by John Persson

As the complete audio Visual package supplier, including 20 lighting rigs, more than 500 moving lights, 291 speakers, and all the LED displays, Solotech delivered the technology and, foremost, its in-depth expertise to the show.

Solotech worked under the direction of director Baillie Walsh, working alongside Aniara's Technical Producer Nick Levitt and Technical Director Joe Frisina, and collaborating with concert producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM,) and TETRO and Greenwall's Fredrik Stormby to provide audio, lighting, and video solutions capable of pushing the boundaries for live productions. Scott Willsallen from Auditoria supervised the audio elements of the show, with VYV Photon servers specified and programmed by Anthony "Bez" Bezencon.

Working in close collaboration with ABBA's production team, Ian "Woody" Woodall, Solotech UK's Director of Special Projects, led the project, with Paul "Macca" McCauley overseeing the installation of the rental equipment in the venue, and serving as the host to technical demos of the system in the many months leading up to the show. Solotech's Robin Conway oversaw audio, Oli James handled lighting, and Alex Mulrenan managed video and cameras.

State-of-the-art equipment was chosen from leading manufacturers, including ROE Visual, VYV, Robe, L-Acoustics and others, to augment the filmed performance footage with the technology used throughout the venue. The show features one of the largest installations of ROE Visual Black Pearl BP2V2 LED screens, driven by Brompton 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors. It is one of the tallest installations of Black Pearl screens, standing 19 panels high. Next to the Black Pearl LED wall, the ABBA Voyage is decorated with over 4200 ROE LED strips.

Picture by John Persson

The Black Pearl LED panels were selected based on their immaculate track record in virtual production technology. With the panels' performance being so stable, the technical team could focus on bringing all technologies together without unnecessary distraction.

"When you embark on something as ground-breaking as this, most people think it's a crazy idea until it becomes a reality and then suddenly it's the best thing ever! ROE Visual has been very supportive throughout the whole process, supporting our 'crazy ideas'! We have pushed the product beyond its standard capabilities, and thanks to the reliability of Black Pearl BP2V2, it allowed us to bring so many different technologies together to achieve our goal", comments Woody.

Besides the Black Pearl, ROE Visual also supplied over 4200 pieces of ROE Strip in various lengths. The ROE Strip was used creatively to join the virtual and physical worlds together. They not only feature in the internal tunnels that transport the audience from the 'real outside world' to the inside of the ABBA Arena but feature prominently in the show across the stage, walls and even roof, where the vertical timber battens incorporate the iconic ABBA logo made of the ROE Strip LED lights.

Picture by Dirk Lindner

The ROE Strip is an elegant linear LED element suited for all sorts of creative applications. The multiple cover options and variable lengths make it an ideal LED element to accentuate set designs, structures or interior features. The LEDs are freely mappable so that any video content can be played on them.

Picture by Dirk Lindner

Woody says: "This project has been special as we've spent two years of our lives working on it. It is the most technically complicated and challenging project I have ever been involved in, underlined by the fact that everyone who has been there cannot find the words to describe it. The show's technical elements have been virtually flawless from the rehearsals through to opening night on a show that is breaking new ground. These are accomplishments that we are extremely proud of."

Discover ROE Strip

Discover Black Pearl

Products Used:
ROE Visual Black Pearl BP2V2 – 2262 pieces
ROE Visual Strip – 30cm – 2538 pieces, 60 cm 245 pieces, 120 cm 1385 pieces

More information:
https://www.solotech.com/uk/
https://abbavoyage.com/

Sources:
https://www.billboard.com/music/concerts/abba-reunite-london-voyage-virtual-live-show-premiere-photos-1235078240/

https://www.inavateonthenet.net/news/article/solotech-handles-staggering-avl-installation-for-abba-voyage

https://www.wallpaper.com/technology/abba-voyage-director-baillie-walsh-interview

https://www.dezeen.com/2022/06/09/abba-arena-stufish-virtual-tour/

Select your region of preference