August 15, 1969 On 600 acres of field owned by a dairy farmer, 400,000 young people kicked off this seminal event of the 1960s. The three day music festival had a roster of many of the era's top musicians. Richie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Crosby Stills and Nash, and the Who were just some of the performers. The festival was initially meant as a paid event for ticket holders. But the crowd — made up of young people from all over the country — doubled attendance estimates, forcing the promoters to make it a free event. Though the festival was plagued by rain and shortages, its legacy is the representative example of the 1960s counterculture.