This past summer, Umphrey’s McGee announced that their longtime lighting designer Jefferson Waful was retiring from life on the road after 11 years with the band. Waful’s final show with Umphrey’s took place at Wilmington, NC’s Greenfield Lake Amphitheater on August 18th. After that, former Umphrey’s Lighting Crew Chief Elliott Little stepped in to fill the void while the band looked for a permanent replacement throughout the remainder of the tour.
Enter Ben Factor, the band’s new lighting director, who was officially announced by Umphrey’s in a statement shared to the band’s website on Tuesday. Factor has previously worked with bands like Mungion and Spafford. The exciting announcement post reads:
“Umphrey’s is pleased to announce the latest addition to Team UM as we welcome Ben Factor aboard as our new Lighting Director. Hailing from New York, Ben joins UM at the spry young age of 24. Despite being a guitarist and graduating with a degree in Sound Engineering from the University of Michigan (a tough sell for Brendan), Ben’s passion lies in the visual realm. His innate talent, design instincts, work ethic, and all around ‘nice guy’ demeanor make him a natural fit for UM.
We are elated to welcome him aboard and have no doubt fans are going to find Ben’s approach to be fresh yet familiar, captivating yet complementary. Four nights at The Fillmore in Denver, Colorado over the New Year’s run mark Ben’s official start.
Onward & upward.”
Factor shared his own statement along with the announcement, adding, “Umphrey’s just about single-handedly inspired me to pursue lighting. I’ve had a handful of life epiphanies while at UM shows so this really is a full-circle opportunity for me. I’ve been consciously and subconsciously preparing for this gig for years.”
Umphrey’s McGee doesn’t have any performances scheduled until the above-mentioned New Year’s run in Denver. Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger will regroup prior to NYE next month for the 2019 installment of their annual holiday show at Park West in Chicago, IL on December 7th. Head to the band’s website for tickets and tour info.
Good luck Ben, we’re ready to be amazed!
— Umphrey’s McGee (@umphreysmcgee) November 19, 2019