Glastonbury ticket day – the thought is enough to send a shudder down the spine of even the most seasoned festival goers.
Last year saw more than 2.5 million people frantically trying to bag their spot at Worthy Farm this summer. Of course, most would be left disappointed, staring at the dreaded “sold out” page once the 210,000 tickets were gone in a matter of minutes.
After another sun-drenched summer event, ticket demand for 2024 is undoubtedly as high as ever, despite the sizeable price tag of £360.
If you missed out, don’t despair. These are five fantastic European alternatives for next year that can be booked, with travel, for less than the cost of a Glastonbury ticket.
Taking place in the leafy Beekse Bergen safari park, a 30-minute drive from Eindhoven airport in south-eastern Netherlands, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive setting for a music festival.
The site’s centrepiece is the sprawling lake that runs alongside the main stage. As well as being a spectacle at sunset, it provides a welcome opportunity for an invigorating morning dip that can remedy even the fuzziest of heads.
Main stage headliners over the last few years have included the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Jamie XX, Kraftwerk, Run the Jewels, Radiohead and Aphex Twin, making it a solid all-rounder when it comes to musical genres.
Another of the festival’s big selling points is its food offering. From sumptuous street food and fresh oysters to fancy sit-down dinners served by the Netherlands’ most acclaimed restaurants, the options couldn’t be further away from your bog-standard festival burger and chips.
2024 ticket prices TBC but expect to pay from around €265 (£235) with camping. Combine that with £75 return flights from Manchester or London, and you’re still coming in around £40 less than the cost of a Glasto ticket.
Having celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022, Open’er is now one of Poland’s biggest music festivals, with organisers consistently delivering one of the most impressive line-ups on the European circuit.
Hosted in the port city of Gdynia, on Poland’s Baltic coast, Open’er transforms the Kosakowo Airfield into a four-day party that has welcomed global megastars including Kendrick Lamar, Depeche Mode, Travis Scott, Lizzo and The Strokes in recent years. Next year, Dua Lipa has been confirmed as the first headliner.
The coastal setting means guests can also take advantage of idyllic beaches in neighbouring Sopot and Gdansk, with regular shuttle buses running between the festival site and Baltic Riviera resort towns.
Four-day tickets with camping are priced at PL1,305 (£261), with return flights from the UK to Gdansk costing around £100.
INMusic, 24-26 June 2024, Croatia
With three-day tickets available for less than £80, INMusic offers head-scratchingly good value — even more so given that both The Smashing Pumpkins and The National have already been confirmed for next year’s event.
Taking place across Zagreb’s gorgeous Jarun lake isles, INMusic’s waterside vistas could be worth the entry price alone. Being just a 30-minute tram ride from the city centre is another big bonus, making it an ideal choice for anyone wanting to roll a city break and festival into one trip.
Plenty goes on away from the music, too. Guests can make use of the island’s swimming and sports facilities while a satellite events programme includes everything from yoga and kayaking to organised nature trips at the spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Three-day festival ticket €89 (£78); seven-day camping passes €49 (£43). Return flights from the UK to Zagreb around £180.
One of the newest names on the festival circuit, Cala Mijas – roughly halfway between Malaga and Marbella – returns for its third outing next summer. Despite its infancy, the event has hit the ground running, delivering two powerhouse, genre-spanning lineups that have included appearances from Nick Cave, The Chemical Brothers, Florence & the Machine, Liam Gallagher, Róisín Murphy, 2ManyDJs and Caribou (next year’s is still TBC).
A picturesque setting along the Costa del Sol brings with it 12km of beautiful sandy beaches for relaxation and recovery (leave your Wellies at home), while the cultural and gastronomic goldmine of Malaga’s historic centre can be easily accessed using the regular, free shuttle buses.
2024 tickets are yet to be released; three-day tickets cost €150 (£132) this summer, with camping an additional €30 (£27). Return flights to Malaga cost around £180.
Le Guess Who, 7-10 November 2024, Netherlands
If you can hold off until a little later in the year, then Le Guess Who delivers one of Europe’s most fascinating and forward-thinking lineups, covering everything from avant-garde and jazz to hip-hop, experimental and noise rock.
For four days in mid-November, the festival takes over 20 venues dotted around the medieval, cobbled streets of Utrecht – like Amsterdam in miniature, minus the crowds – bringing a series of incredible, eclectic performances, installations and markets to the city’s venues, warehouses, churches and theatres.
Four-day tickets €175 (£154) excluding accommodation. Three nights at the central Stayokay Hostel from €134 (£118). Utrecht is 26 minutes by train from Amsterdam, 38 minutes from Rotterdam, all well served by flights, ferries and trains from the UK.
Sophie Anderson, a UK-based writer, is your guide to the latest trends, viral sensations, and internet phenomena. With a finger on the pulse of digital culture, she explores what’s trending across social media and pop culture, keeping readers in the know about the latest online sensations.