1969, Cooley brought a new brand of entertainment to his
home. The rock festival had come South and it was a massive
event. The first festival of its kind in the deep South;
over 100,000 people braved the searing Georgia heat to see legendary performers.
The festival brought
a new awareness of imminent change at the peak of the
Civil Rights movement." You have to understand the context" explains Cooley. "It was the height of the Vietnam war and Lester Maddox was Governor. I wanted to do something that would make people where I lived understand that we could change." Cooley remembers that after the festival a subculture with alternative values began to flourish.The festival by his terms had been a success.
Of course, the financial gain of $12,000 came as a slight embarassment and prompted Alex to bring in The Grateful Dead for a free performance at Piedmont Park.