Hi! My name is Feather (Heather) Hottovy, and I would like to start by expressing my gratitude about being a part of Manifestation Media and taking on new projects with the amazing Brielle! I came to Manifestation Media through attending so many events that were being promoted by the company and finally decided to introduce myself to Brielle – starting a prosperous and awesome friendship. Being a yoga instructor and a nanny, I was always looking for other outlets to express myself and own my schedule even more. It brings be such joy to have gone on my first mission to Sister Winds Festival to experience, observe and document this amazing event.
What a blessing to be surrounded by such amazingly inspirational, empowering, beautiful and strong women at the 10th Annual Sister Winds Festival! Being at the Mishawaka Amphitheater in Poudre Canyon, Colorado (for the first year) made this one day festival feel like a wonderland of music, dance, meditation, healing, and divine feminine energy.
As soon as I got there, the opening ceremony, complete with a ceremonial dance in the outdoor concert bowl left me with an open heart for the rest of he experiences to come that day. This was followed immediately by the most beautiful A capella group my senses have ever been graced by called the Sister Winds Ensemble. Clad in all white and including the Birth Mother of this gathering, Shaela Noella, this group was the perfect introduction to a day of music! Sister Winds Ensemble performed another jaw-dropping set later on in the night that left the audience in a mix of astonishment and reverence.
Afterwards, Katie Grey hit the main stage and graced the crowd with her timeless voice and empowering words woven between tunes. “Whatever, just be real! Be you! … I don’t care what you think about me, I know I’m awesome!” Quote from Katie Gray whilst speaking of her past struggles of finding self love left us with this gem that I will forever hold in my heart before singing her song “Body Love,” accompanied by Bridget Law on the violin.
I happened into the WishGarden Herbs Stage area after this and was delighted to see some live painting, vending, and the wise herbalist, Brigitte Mars on stage, speaking to the light of plants like dandelion, hemp, nettle, and more. Her speeches were woven into a beautiful pattern when Brigitte handed the mic to Bethy Love Light, the most conscious hip-hop artist I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing preform!
After this, Ley Line hit the stage with a full and fulfilling South American sound with all but a four piece band. Dancing, clapping, singing and booty shaking flooded the dance floor during their set, making for a refreshing midday treat! The lovely Bridget Law came to the area I was standing in and commented “I absolutely love this band!” posed for a photo and then danced into the crowd.
Noticing my hunger, I then moseyed to the restaurant that is attached to the Mishawaka and enjoyed some amazing hummus with veggies and shared a mouth-watering portobello mushroom sammy with a friend! Satisfying and delicious refueling for the rest of the day!
After this amazing meal, I noticed that Ray Harper was doing a Buugeng workshop at the altar area that I wanted to be a part of! Needless to say, he makes it look much easier than it is! Though I was struggling with the flow of the Buugengs, it was a lot of fun to play with them while Wippoorwill was awing the audience.
The afternoon heat made me wander down to the river that runs behind the stage in search for the Sacred Circle Island that had been holding meditations all day (some of which I saw but couldn’t find my way over to the island to attend before this time). I met up with a dear friend and attended Katie Gray’s meditation titled the Voice of Truth where she guided attendees to travel inward to love and accept themselves from before infantry to beyond old age. This workshop made me laugh and cry at different times as Miss Gray alternated between native-sounding sing-chanting, steady, simple drumming and traditional wooden flute. This hour-long meditation felt like 20 minutes but left my heart so full, it overflowed into the rest of the day!
Nina Storey was blowing the crowd’s minds as I approached the main stage from Sacred Circle Island with her gorgeous voice and lighthearted lyrics accompanied by her beautiful piano playing. After this set and almost a week later I can still hear her song “Naked Woman” echoing in my head.
Sister Winds Ensemble graced the stage yet again after a short break following Nina Storey’s set. These women alone would have drawn me back year after year to this amazing festival! Without any delay, Bridget Law and Bonnie Paine (of Elephant Revival) awed the audience with multiple instrument changes, many guests including Bridget’s husband and songs like “Raven Song” which echoed gently through the hearts of attendees. I can admit to having tears tickle the corners of my eyes a few times during this beautiful set that included a special appearance of Bonnie’s musical saw and washboard.
Ayla Nereo turned the concert bowl into a dancevfloor shortly after she opened with “Hum,” a song she wrote to honor our buzzy bee friends who help to pollinate our world. She truly had a crowd-pleasing performance as per usual and even had Bonnie Paine as a spectacular accompaniment on her magical, musical saw, washboard, and vocals. The two turned out to be one of the best musical collaborations I have been blessed to experience. She invited most of the artists from the festival on stage for a finale of one of her newer songs that was truly a treat! All attendees were there for the showering of blessings and love that Alya gifted us from stage as she finished her deeply touching set.
There was a minor break to allow some of that amazing headliner set to assimilate before QBALA rocked the stage with some female led hip-hop. Strong, fun and funky from beginning to end. This 4 piece hip-hop band blew the crowd away with a real drum (not a drum machine), real vinyl scratching and a trumpet to boot!
My night ended with some visits between the stages where the amazingly talented Xerephine was playing harp and singing ethereal tunes and Starwater Collective Creator, Zoe, Fierce le’ Fey was sharing her musical and heartfelt poetry with danceable beats to back.
All-in-all, the 10th Annual Sister Winds festival was one for the books. This was the most amazing celebration of women I have ever attended and am thankful to Shaela Noella, Bridget Law, and all other coordinators, performers, workshop hosts and everyone involved for making this beautiful event happen for 10 years now! The Mishawaka even had a 90% female staff scheduled for this event to support the celebration. Thank you, Sister Winds! ❤