International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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International Vegan Festivals - a history
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Some of the information on this page was copied from the excellent, but that has not been updated beyond the 1999 Festival and the links are not working. Some of that was in turn copied from issues of Vegan Views and other sources. Notices and reports from The Vegan (UK) are also now added to bring it up to date with a complete history, with help from Kirsten Jungsberg who attended all of them:

  • 1st - 1981, Denmark, Himmerlandsgaarden, Hadsund, July 12-19, organized by Kirsten Jungsberg (report)

  • 2nd - 1985, Denmark, Martinus Holidaycenter, Klint, Aug 03-10, organized by Kirsten Jungsberg
    From The Vegan, Autumn 1985: 2nd INTERNATIONAL VEGAN FESTIVAL Held at the Martinus Centre, Klint, Denmark, over the period 3-10 August, the 2nd International Vegan Festival was attended by over 50 people from twelve countries. The UK contingent, which included Vegan Society President Serena Coles, attended various lectures, workshops and exhibitions connected with the vegan way of living. Serena wishes to thank the Festival organizer, Kirsten Jungsberg, and all of those who helped to make the Festival a success.

  • 3rd - 1987, Germany, Bringhausen, July 16-23, organised by Hans Peter, after this one Vegans International was launched to coordinate future Festivals. (report)

  • 4th - 1989, Sweden, Nordhem Vegan Youth Hostel, Aug 07-13, organized by Vegan Society Sweden
    From The Vegan, spring/summer 1989: 7-13 August. Vegan Week. Nordhem, Sweden. 1,000 Sw. Kroner. Book by end of April. Contact: Swedish Vegan Society, Kloverv, 6, 64700, Mariefied, Sweden.

  • 5th - 1990, Holland, Het Kervel, Hengelo, July 21-28, organized by Cor Nouws & Dutch Vegan Society (notices and reports)

    This notice appeared in the Winter 1990 issue of The Vegan:
    Vegans International is a network of correspondents who work to promote veganism through a variety of non-violent means. These include: the exchange of information internationally, promoting contact between vegans in different countries, coordination of international activities (e.g. campaigning), and helping to start up new vegan organizations in countries where they do not already exist.
    Lindsay Gamsa-Jackson is the only British contact at present and may be moving within the next 12 months. Anyone in the UK willing to scan journals for items of interest to vegans abroad and who wishe to become a permanent contact for Vegans International should contact: [her details].

  • 6th - 1992, UK, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, Aug 01-08, organised by Barbara Gamsa-Jackson (notice and reports)
    - Vegans International and the Vegan Festivals - some background from the organizer

  • 7th - 1993, Spain, Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava, near Barcelona, Jul 17-24, organised by Francisco Martin, who was on the IVU council at the time, and is now a Fellow of IVU (reports)

    In The Vegan, Spring 1994 there was the first half-page column by Alex Bourke as Vegans International Newsletter Editor (and Vegan Society Council Member). This continued up to Winter 1997 issue. His column iInitially promoted the1995 8th IVF in San Diego, but then stopped promoting it and never reported on it.

  • 8th -1995, USA, San Diego, California (link to full website on - this was the first major veg event to reported online), Aug 06-13, co-organised by Julia Hope, the American Vegan Society and VUNA (IVU's North American arm). It attracted over 400 participants- and IVU held a council meeting in the middle of that one, .

    The 1996 IVU World Vegetarian Congress was held in the USA, combined with the NAVS Summerfest. The food was described as 'total-vegetarian' - the word 'vegan' was still not so much in use in North America at that time, but it was entirely vegan, and many speakers promoted veganism, whatever name they gave it. After this all IVU Congresses became completely vegan.

    The 1997 IVF was initially announced for Sweden, then Australia, then cancelled.

    - up to here they were coordinated by Vegans International. In 1997 the IVU webmaster met the VI Newsletter editor in London and we planned to set up a website for VI. But we had barely made any progress before VI disappeared, it seems to have been briefly run from Australia.

  • 9th - 1999, Australia, Continental Guest House, Hepburn Springs, Dec 25-Jan 1, Organized by Zalan Glen - Hepburn Springs in Central Victoria from 25th Dec 1998 until 1st Jan 1999 (reports) - this was just before the IVU Chiang Mai congress, which started Jan 4, 1999, so IVU helped with the publicity and some people did go to both.

    There were plans for a 10th Festival in Bulgaria/Poland and other Eastern European countries in 2000, but this never took place.

    Meanwhile IVU had changed its rules to make all food at all its World Congresses completely vegan, later extended to regional events, and any event supported by IVU. The 2000 IVU Congress in Toronto was hailed as 'in reality a World Vegan Congress' (link to full report) - by the former Vegans International editor, in The Vegan (journal of the original Vegan Society in the UK). Similar support has been given to all subsequent IVU events.

    After a long gap Kirsten decided to start again...

  • 10th - 2006, Denmark, Folk High School Diget, Skagen, 10 Jul 30-Aug 5, organized by Kirsten Jungsberg (25 years after organising #1 & 2) - at some time in the late 1990s Kirsten did some translations for

    2006 Group photo (click for bigger version) –some reports/photos in Swedish and English.

  • 11th - 2007 India - thanks to Shankar Narayan, IVU Regional Coordinator for India and West Asia, and President of the Indian Vegan Society (see: )

  • 12th IVF was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Summer 2009 - organised by Marly Winckler, IVU regional Coordinator for Latin America.

  • 13th IVF - Malaga, Spain, June 2011 - organised by Francisco Martin, former IVU General Secretary, President of the Spanish Vegan Society.