Thousands of students turned up at a park for an annual drinking event – with some seen urinating up trees and others vomiting.
The booze-fuelled ‘Caesarian Sunday’ event shouldn’t have happened on Jesus Green in Cambridge because of Covid restrictions – but crowds gathered anyway.
Witnesses said there was chaos as students lit barbecues, ignored social distancing rules and drank until they were sick.
The event is at least eight decades old and usually takes place on the Sunday of the first May bank Holiday weekend.
In the past, the gathering has been criticised for causing havoc, with masses of litter left lying around and people becoming ill from the amount they have drunk.
Pictures taken on Sunday show thousands of students stood and sat in groups on the green, with men urinating into waterways and up against trees while the grass was strewn with plastic bottles and beer cans.
Cambridge University students descended on Jesus green in Cambridge for Caesarian Sunday
This eight-decade old tradition which sees students party for the last time before exams begin
Event went ahead despite Covid-19 restrictions which ban outdoor gatherings of more than six
Witnesses estimated that up to 3,000 students gathered on the green this Bank Holiday
Several police officers can be seen talking to people in the crowds, but one witness said not enough had been done to move people on.
Current restrictions ban outdoor meet-ups of more than six people or two households.
One witness said the event was ‘like a rave’ with loud music blaring out and drunken people dancing.
Another said: ‘Police were doing absolutely nothing to move people on. It was a joke.
‘There were lots of men and women urinating by the trees on the path in front of passing public.
‘Young women were vomiting from too much drink. I spoke to two police officers who said as you can imagine we can’t exactly get involved.
Cambridge University students drinking on Jesus Green as part of Caesarean Sunday
Event has been criticised historically due to amount of litter left over and antisocial behaviour
People letting their hair down at the Caesarean Sunday in on Jesus Green in Cambridge
Council bosses have threatened to cancel the event in the past due to problems it causes
‘At the peak maybe 3,000 people there and there were no masks and no social distancing.’
The event – which often attracts undergraduates in fancy dress – has previously been criticised due to the antisocial behaviour associated with it.
In 2016, a student dressed up as a sheep suffered severe burns after his fancy dress costume was set on fire, reportedly as part of a drinking society ‘initiation’.
He threw himself into the river to extinguish the flames before an air ambulance rushed him to hospital.
City council leader Lewis Herbert has since threatened to ban the event, which is seen by some students as a final blowout before the summer exam season.
Attending in 2017, he said: ‘From being there Sunday afternoon, it is clear that the spirit was good this year and the vast majority of the large crowd of partying students were behaving sensibly.
‘Students should be able to regulate their behaviour as a group, assisted by Cambridge University and colleges reinforcing expectations, and the local police team there just in case.
‘While welcoming that most antisocial behaviour seems to have been avoided, there is still a significant clean-up cost every year and revellers need to better consider other users of Jesus Green.
‘We also want to thank in advance our cleansing teams who will now follow up to ensure that Jesus Green is spick and span and recovers as soon as possible.’