Glastonbury returns next week after a two-year Covid hiatus — but the total cost for music fans attending has soared to a mike-dropping £701.

Tickets for this year’s Worthy Farm event sold out in minutes, with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and American songstress Billie Eilish among the acts booked to perform.

But new research by the travel money specialist No1 Currency has revealed that Glastonbury is now the most expensive event of its kind in Europe for Brits to attend, taking into account ticket prices, travel and food and drink.

Glasto’s soaring costs mean it has now leap-frogged Denmark’s Roskilde (£699), which previously held the dubious distinction of being Europe’s most expensive music festival.

And though the two events are almost neck-and-neck in terms of costs, Roskilde offers eight days of music compared with Glastonbury’s five, making it better value on a per day basis.

Travelling from London to Glastonbury alone will set you back £149, and that’s assuming the trains are running at all. Nationwide rail strikes are currently due to take place on June 21, 23 and 25.

The £149 return rail fare is roughly the same price as admission to see Dua Lipa and The Killers at Poland’s three-day Open’er festival, which is the cheapest festival of its kind across the continent.

In fact, the total cost for anyone travelling to Open’er (£294) from London is less than half the amount you’d spend attending Glastonbury (£701), meaning you and a friend could rock out in Poland for less than the price of doing Glasto on your own.

While more than 200,000 people are expected to flock to this year’s Glastonbury, No1 Currency’s analysis reveals that the best combination of bands and bargains can often be found further afield.

Admission to Serbia’s four-day Exit Festival costs just £105, with headliners including Calvin Harris, James Arthur and Nick Cave. Getting there from the UK will cost you only slightly more than a train from London to Glastonbury, with return flights priced at £166.

Budget-conscious Brits might also like to consider Romania’s Electric Castle event, which will be headlined by Twenty One Pilots, Gorillaz and Deftones in July. Total costs, including return flights from the UK, come in at just £318.

Meanwhile for dance music aficionados, heading to Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival to see Afrojack and Jamie Jones will cost UK ravers £514, around £200 less than going to Glastonbury. Moreover, Tomorrowland has expanded from two weekends to three, meaning music fans can catch their favourite acts on either 15–17 July, 22–24 July, or 29–31 July.

News of Glasto’s unwanted accolade as Europe’s most expensive festival will raise questions over whether the spirit of the original event has been overtaken by commercialism.

Ironically, Glasto creator Michael Eavis launched the event in the 1970s when it was briefly known as the ‘Glastonbury Free Festival’ with campers handed out complimentary milk.