Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock (Photo MGM) & ABBA Voyage avatars

ABBA Voyage creators Pophouse in talks to produce Elvis Presley avatar show

Pophouse, the Swedish entertainment group and investment firm who run ABBA Voyage in London and is co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, are believed to be in talks with the rights holders of Elvis Presley about creating a live show around the King of Rock & Roll.

The show would be on similar lines to ABBA Voyage, which sees the four original ABBA band members digtiically recreated as avatars, to star in their own pop concert in a specially built arena.

This story first broke in the Financial Times.

The advanced technology used to create the ABBA avatars was developed by Pophouse and Disney-owned special effects company Industrial Light and Magic.

Sony Music owns the rights to Elvis’s music and work, and Authentic Brands Group own the intellectual property for Presley, that includes his image and likeness.

A partnership between Pophouse, Sony and Authentic Brands Group has been discussed, to develop a live show.

Björn Ulvaeus has recently been doing the rounds at a number of investment conferences, including Humber Business Week in Bridlington, and last week’s SuperReturn private equity conference in Berlin. Ulvaeus said in a presentation in Berlin about Pophouse that he would “like to work with Elvis” and to “see the young Elvis come alive again”.

Pophouse is co-founded by Ulvaeus and the chair of Swedish private equity group EQT, Conni Jonsson. The company is led by CEO Per Sundin, former Universal Music exec in Scandinavia.

Pophouse has recently been buying up music catalogues, taking majority shares in the catalogues of Swedish dance acts Avicii and Swedish House Mafia, and acquiring Cyndi Lauper’s music catalogue.

In April, Pophouse announced the acquisition of the music catalogue, brand name, likeness and trademarks of iconic American rock band KISS.

The ABBA Voyage show in London has proved hugely successful, with the state-of-the-art but temporary venue ABBA Arena in London expecting to get a multi-year extension on its planing terms to stay in Pudding Lane.

In December it was revealed that in a socio-economic impact report on the show that ABBA Voyage contributed £322.6 million in spending, and £177.7 million in extra economic activity in its first year alone in London. The show has sold over 2 million tickets so far in London.

Executive producer of ABBA Voyage, Michael Bolingbroke, has been touring the world over the last 18 months to audition cities to host ABBA Voyage, with Melbourne, Singapore and La Vegas all believed to have been in discussions to host the show.

This wouldn’t be the only Evlis virtual show in development.

Entertainment company Layered Reality plans to launch a Elvis Evolution experience in London later this year, using virtual reality and holographic projections to recreate performances of Elvis Presley. There’s not currently a confirmed date or venue for the show.

Currently playing in London is an Elvis exhibition – Direct From Graceland: Elvis The Exhibition, which showcases hundreds of Elvis artefacts. The exhibition is running to 1 September 2024 at Arches London Bridge.

Book tickets to ABBA Voyage at the ABBA Arena in London

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📷 Main photo: Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock (Photo MGM) & ABBA Voyage avatars

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