It came as no big surprise to followers of the Norwegian rock band a-ha that its three members have once again agreed to come out of retirement to play at a huge, potentially lucrative music festival in Rio de Janeiro. A-ha members have performed individually and collectively since officially bowing out in 2010, and now they’ll make a very high-profile comeback at “Rock in Rio” next fall.
The band’s Magne Furuholmen told state broadcaster NRK on Friday that it couldn’t decline a request from “Rock in Rio” organizers to take the stage once more in Rio in September 2015. Both the band and “Rock in Rio” can celebrate 30th anniversaries in 2015, and a-ha first performed at the music festival in 1991. Its performance in front of 198,000 fans set a world record for a paying audience.
A-ha remained wildly popular in South America even after it, in lead singer Morten Harket’s words, had “rounded the corner” in North America and Europe. The offer to perform in Rio again “was just impossible to turn down,” Furuholmen said, even though the band’s manager had stated that a reunion in 2011 was a “one-off” performance, to honour victims of terrorist attacks in Norway.
The band also has other plans for marking and cashing in on its 30th anniversary next year. A “super deluxe edition” of the band’s album Hunting High and Low will be released in June, with new editions also planned for other albums including East of the Sun, West of the Moon.