historic vehicles, Motoring News, VW

Woodstock ‘Light’ bus back for 50-year festival revival

VW LIGHT BUS
LET THERE BE LIGHT… AND THERE WAS: After 50 years, the concept of the VW ‘Light’ bus is on the road again to promote the half-century anniversary of the iconic music festival. Image: VW US

The culmination of a three-year quest to recreate, restore and repaint a lost symbol of the Summer of Love

HERNDON, Virginia – After more than 50 years, the iconic ‘Light’ bus (VW Type 2 van made world famous after its appearance at the legendary 1969 Woodstock Art and Music Fair) will hit the road again thanks to help from VS America and the greater Volkswagen community.

Artist Dr. Bob Hieronimus (he painted the original Light bus) unveiled a recreation of the original bus over February 17/18 2019 at the Orange Country Transporter Organization Winter Meet in California’s Long Beach Veteran’s Memorial Stadium.

The Volksie will now go on a cross-country tour until it reaches the music festival’s 50th anniversary.

Volksie bus
LET THERE BE LIGHT… AND THERE WAS: After 50 years, the concept of the VW ‘Light’ bus is on the road again to promote the half-century anniversary of the iconic music festival. Image: VW US

The Volksie is the result of a three-year endeavour by Hieronimus and Canadian documentarian John Wesley Chisholm to recover and recreate the van ahead of Woodstock’s milestone anniversary.

SYMBOL OF ART

Chisholm said:  “It’s a time machine that takes people to the past, through the present and to the future,.”

Hieronimus painted the original 1963 Standard Microbus in 1968 after an invitation from the van’s owner, who was using it to haul his band to the festival and wanted a ‘magic bus’.

It became a symbol of the Woodstock Art and Music Fair and greater generational call for peace, love and unity after a snapshot of the van by the Associated Press was widely circulated in newspapers and magazines across the country.

YOUNG FOLKS’ FAVOURITE

The bus even appeared in the liner of the official Woodstock album.

The VW bus had already been a favourite among young people seeking efficient travel; the Light van covered with Hieronimus’s phalanx of hand-painted symbols and psychedelic shapes captured a unique moment of American culture. He explained:

Volksie bus
LET THERE BE LIGHT… AND THERE WAS: After 50 years, the concept of the VW ‘Light’ bus is on the road again to promote the half-century anniversary of the iconic music festival. Image: VW US

“The bus is really about being one people on one planet. On every part of the bus is a story – many stories – and they and  point to unification, working together, and a higher consciousness.”

‘LABOUR OF LOVE’

The original plan was to find and restore the original Light’bus but after a six-month search failed. So, instead, another Volksie bus from the same year was used for a painstaking restoration – including the six-week labour of love by Hieronimus and a team of five artists.

READ MORE  Volkswagen features here

VW America and a team of Volkswagen fans supported the search and restoration which, as Chisholm said, ”is a living room on wheels that you can outfit any way you want, and transports you and your family wherever you want to go”.

Volksie bus
LET THERE BE LIGHT… AND THERE WAS: After 50 years, the concept of the VW ‘Light’ bus is on the road again to promote the half-century anniversary of the iconic music festival. Image: VW US

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