Follow a yoga lesson in the open air, drink organic wine in the hay while watching the cute Tangerine boys perform, cuddle with calves and lambs, chat with chickens, box with a handsome trainer, work up a sweat on heavy dance music, enjoy delish organic foods in the sun ….
This and more was all possible during EkoTown 2014 in the Amsterdam Forest: the first 100% organic lifestyle festival in the Netherlands.
EkoTown is organized by EkoPlaza. For those who don’t know what EkoPlaza is: it’s the largest organic supermarket in the Netherlands that promotes a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and sport; exactly the things that I promote!
Raw chocolate feast
Still a bit hangover (yep, it happens sometimes) from my best friends bachelorette party the night before – for the funny stuff check my Instagram – I arrived at the entrance – somewhere hidden between oaks – of the EkoTown festival, where I met up with friend and blogger at Popcorn & Pumps Elke. With the prospect of the EkoTown tastings, I only had a light breakfast that morning. I was happy to be guided to the backstage area, where I feasted on raw chocolate and dried mango strips.
With my body rehydrated with coco juice we headed front stage to check out the goods and the foods, ready to start tasting yummy stuff at TastePlaza, which was one of the domains the festival was divided in.
TastePlaza covers products like nut butters, coco juices, noodles, yogurts, cereals, wines, meats, chips, chocolate and nuts; all organic and animal friendly, of course. There was even a salad bar where you could make your own salad. Definitely enough to choose from and provide you with a full meal.
There are my favorite nut butters again!
How to keep your kids quiet: buy them ice cream.
Quiet ice cream eating kid. Want one of those.
The other domains represented at EkoTown were MusicPlaza, SportPlaza, KidsPlaza, SpeakersPlaza and FarmersPlaza.
The MusicPlaza was a perfect place to chill; a huge tent offered a bit of shelter from the sun and staples of hay in the tent invited me to lay myself down in front of the main stage where DJ’s and bands like Tangerine (tip!) and Rilan & The Bombardiers (tip!) performed. Elke and I sat there for a while to enjoy the music, more coco juice, kids and the heat of the sun. My goodness, life can be so beautiful!
Two guys guitaring at a smaller stage. Too bad I didn’t catch their names, as they were pretty good!
SportPlaza: too cool for school! Yoga and organic food seem to be closely connected to each other, so of course there were yoga classes to follow. For those who liked it a bit more rough, there was boxing with a cute trainer (why are trainers, just like camera men, always so handsome?) or face a harsh interval group training.
Unfortunately I forgot my sport outfit and was wearing a dress, otherwise I certainly would have joined the interval training and demonstrated my uppercut.
SpeakersPlaza gave the floor to all kinds of experts in the field of health and nutrition. For the Dutch public names like Jesse van der Velde (who spoke about omega fatty acids and ratio’s) and Ralph Moorman (the hormone specialist) will certainly ring a bell.
FarmersPlaza was one of the most enjoyable plaza’s, as this is where the chickens, calves (click for the happy calve) and lambs were running around. FarmersPlaza was also the place to meet the farmers behind the products that you can find at EkoPlaza and chat with them about their goods. I got some nice tips by De Peuleschil on a very cool way of growing my own sprouts, for instance. I will share this tip on my blog soon!
What do I think about the festival? Is it worth visiting next year? Were there things missing?
The EkoTown festival was situated at a marvellous location, in the middle of the woods, but still in Amsterdam. That makes the festival interesting to visit for tourists. Besides, it is a great opportunity to find out that Amsterdam is so much more than the city alone.
The size of the festival wasn’t very big, nor very small. After 4 hours Elke and I had the feeling that we had seen, tasted, spoke with product and brand representatives and farmers and sat enough and went home. We also could have joined sports activities and chill out on a bean bag for a while, but we didn’t. All in all, I think EkoTown would take a good 6 hours to get around if you join activities and take time to sit down and relax.
Easy going, positive, chill.
Sporty young girls and women in yoga pants, young families with kids, young couples and muscular young men. Ages varied between 18-early 40’s I reckon.
EkoTown is very doable to attend with kids. You can just drop them in one of the hot tubs and pick them up by the end of the day. No need to worry about them all day!
EkoTown was easy to reach by car, but less easy to reach by public transport. From the bus stop it took me 20 minutes walking and at one point clear direction was missing, making us end up at the wrong entrance.
The public toilets had toilet ladies cleaning them regularly, so those were very clean. These ladies were collecting money for a project in Ghana, with the aim of importing sanitary pads for Ghanese women. The backstage toilets had nolavatory attendants, so these were a bit messy.
Generous. There was enough to taste for free to get to know the product. Many brands offered the possibility to directly buy the full product or a portion size.
Entrance: € 29,50. Some food festivals are for free, but EkoTown is so much more than a food festival! It included workouts, lectures, food tasting and performences of well known bands as well, so I think the price is okay.
Food and drinks etc. could be paid for with coins, € 2,- per coin. Glass of wine: 1,5 coin. Coco juice: 2 coins. A bit on the expensive side if you’re asking me, but that’s normal for organic food.
Workouts, lectures, food tasting, food workshops and demonstrations and performences of well known bands.
I missed a few EkoPlaza brands that I would love to see represented next year at EkoTown! The same counts for some product types. Dr. Hauschka, an organic skin care brand, was present at the event, being the only skin care product represented at the festival. BeautyPlaza is a domain that I would love to see added to the domains next year, as I love organic, natural, gentle skin care and would like to learn more about.
More of natural beauty products next year, please!