After more than 50 years, the iconic ‘Light’ bus—a Volkswagen Type 2 van made famous after its appearance at the legendary 1969 Woodstock Art and Music Fair—will ride again, thanks to help from Volkswagen of America and the greater Volkswagen community.

Replica of an icon
The replica of the Woodstock icon will go on a cross-country tour of the USA leading up to the music festival’s 50th anniversary. It is the result of a 3-year endeavour to recover and recreate the van ahead of Woodstock’s milestone anniversary.

“It’s a time machine that takes people to the past, through the present and to the future,” said Canadian documentarian John Wesley Chisholm who collaborated with artist Dr. Bob Hieronimus, who painted the original Light bus, on the project.

Dr. Hieronimus had 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.

A unique moment in culture
While the VW bus had already been a favourite among young people seeking efficient ways to travel the country, the Light van covered with its hand-painted symbols and psychedelic shapes captured a unique moment of American culture.

“The bus is really about being one people on one planet,” says Hieronimus, who is also a symbologist. “On every side of the bus is a story – any stories – and the stories all point to unification, working together and a higher consciousness, which is what Light really is all about.”

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[Chips Yap]

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