Just Like Janis, a Janis Joplin tribute band, plays the Sheridan Opera House on Friday as part of Mini Woodstock this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

I had a completely different lead planned for this column. That’s usually how my writing process starts for this space. I figure out a somewhat catchy or interesting hook to start the piece.

I’m glad I didn’t write it, because it would have been wrong by the time we published.

The lead had to do with the seemingly cursed Woodstock 50th anniversary that has hit numerous snags over the past several months. A promoter was planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famed Woodstock music festival, but couldn’t get permits from the small New York town where the festival was originally held. They then moved the location to Maryland, and artists from the star-studded lineup started dropping out like flies.

Just as I sat down to write this week (after a poorly timed power outage), I learned that the promoters of Woodstock 50 have officially canceled the music festival altogether due to a “series of unforeseen setbacks.”  

But we in Telluride will still have a chance to commemorate the famous festival’s semicentennial anniversary this weekend with the Sheridan Opera House’s Mini Woodstock Thursday and Friday night.

“With the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest festivals of all time coming up, we couldn’t not celebrate with some tribute bands at the opera house,” said PR/Marketing Director Maggie Stevens.

The venerable venue hosts Kiss the Sky, the Jimi Hendrix tribute, on Thursday night, and Just like Janis, the Janis Joplin tribute, on Friday night.

“They both really make a point to put on shows that capture the charisma of these two rock legends,” Stevens said. “We’re so excited to travel back to 1969!”

Each show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $25 for general admission and $35 for reserved seats in the balcony. A limited number of two-day GA passes are available for $40. Tickets can be purchased at sheridanoperahouse.com.

On Friday night there’s also a new and unique event being held in both Telluride Town Park and the Liberty to benefit the Trust for Community Housing (TCH).

The event, titled Homecoming, is all about celebrating why we call Telluride home and is designed to raise awareness and funds for the nonprofit that was formed to help support the community by increasing the funding resources available for affordable housing.

The evening starts in Town Park for a Telluride Theatre Downlow with stories centered on the theme “This Must Be the Place.” The storytelling event is free, but donations will be accepted for TCH.

Around 8:30 p.m. there will be a homecoming parade that leads to the Liberty. Costumes are encouraged by not required. The Telluride Gold Kings will play a set starting at 9 p.m. and DJ Blakk Caesar will take over the music for the rest of the night around 10:30 p.m. with his unique mix of funk, hip-hop and soul music.

“This really is a community event, open to everyone,” said Amy Levek, acting director of TCH. “And what better way to celebrate community than with a party that benefits affordable housing.

“There’s no charge for anything, but, of course, donations are welcomed to benefit TCH and our programs like the Housing Opportunity Fund that helps people secure their housing. So far, we’ve given out five grants, but with the lottery coming up for the two new town projects, we want to be able to help.”

On Saturday night, the Liberty hosts New Orleans supergroup Dave Jordan and the NIA. This project is what originally brought drummer Alan Booradley to Telluride, where he fell in love and decided to move here. His project, Alan Booradley and the NIA, which I’ve covered extensively in the past, is an homage to his roots with Jordan.

The music will start around 9 p.m. on Saturday night.