Students and veterinary professionals of all ages – and their families – came together for a fun weekend for the “Let’s Vet Together” event.
Promoted through Facebook student support and virtual EMS group VetWings, the festival was held across three days on the platinum jubilee weekend and attracted 120 people to Killaworgey Farm near Newquay, Cornwall.
Students from Liverpool, Edinburgh and the RVC made the journey, along with vets and nurses from practices in Cornwall and Devon, and such was the success that a similar event is now planned for September.
Vet Colin Whiting, one of the organizers, said attendees included a contingent of Italian and Portuguese vets working in Falmouth and Camborne. Most stayed over at the six-acre campsite, where festivities took place in a party field with outdoor stage and bar.
He said: “Thursday evening we had local ceilidh band The Tinners, and feasted on outdoor log-fire roasted chicken alongside the busy bar and covered seating area. Friday night, the wood-fire pizza oven saw a team effort producing 40 pizzas. We also had a jubilee quiz and a Top Gun (original) outdoor film showing and movie snacks.
“For Saturday’s finale, we took our distant visitors to Polly Joke Beach for the morning, something of a local Cornwall secret with a field of bursting red poppies at this time of year.
“Returning for a Cornish pasty lunch, there was a hard-fought rounders and football tournament, before pulled pork and campfire bean burritos, and the rock band Spit-Roast filled the dance floor with Summer of ’69 and the like in two bouncing sets. The final ‘survivors team photo’ was taken outside the bar at half past very late o’clock. ”
Dr Whiting added: “The concept – a very open welcome to all the wider vet world, an inclusive and low-cost event (it was £ 10 a night to stay, meals, and entertainment included) combining camping, outdoors, socializing, a bit of sport, good music, dancing and food, campfires and great company – is one we’ll be repeating again in September, when we’ll be particularly encouraging new grads to take a break after their first few months in practice.
“We’ll be looking forward to seeing all the same faces return, and many, many more besides.”