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Pink Floyd tribute band new to Labor Daze festival

By Joanne Beck
the floyd concept
Photo courtesy The Floyd Concept

Just as it sounds, The Floyd Concept is a Pink Floyd tribute band, founded in 2016, that’s been playing with its current lineup for the past year, plus its newest member, female vocalist Samantha Hoy.

Michael Diggs, keyboardist and one of the founding members, thought it was important to add a female singer since the actual Pink Floyd group employed a few of them, and the Floyd Concept formerly only had five guys.

“But on some of the music that we do, our harmonies are important, and this is where there's certain signature voices that we need to try to get as close as possible. So we decided to add the female singer,” Diggs said during an interview Sunday. “This year we are doing the 50th anniversary of ‘Dark Side of the Moon,’ and there's a song, you know, there's a great one that they call ‘The Great Gig in the Sky,’ one of the songs on the album, which has a female singer.”

They will be performing the album during their show as one of the new groups at this year’s Oakfield Labor Daze Music & Food Festival from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday. 

“If you like Pink Floyd, then you want to come and see this group because we get it as close as possible. And you will love the light show that we give you because you're in for a complete show,” he said. “You'll want to come see this group. We have people who have left the show just blown away from our live show and the music. So you'll definitely be in for a treat when you see our show.”

Diggs first joined a group called Hey You in 2000, and that was a regional Pink Floyd tribute band. He was drawn to Pink Floyd as a kid and then got to see them live in 1989 while stationed with the Army in Germany. 

“And that just made it even better for me,” Diggs said. “And it just kind of, you know, solidified my love for the group and when the opportunity came for me to join a Pink Floyd tribute, I did. So, that group dissolved in 2012. And the founder of that group, George Root, and we started the Floyd Concept together.

“I always loved the music, but after seeing them live, the production just blew me away. And I mean they use like a 25-foot circular screen with movers, you know. The production is unreal. That really did it for me. We wanted to kind of almost try to replicate that type of production on our own for our show. So we … we built a nine-foot screen, a circular truss, with the movers, and we started buying our own light show. So we try to replicate the production side of it as much as we can.”

Band members include: 
Tony Aversa on lead guitar and vocals, an “international recording artist whose music has been used in radio and television across the globe,” according to the group’s website. He began playing guitar in 1980, infatuated with Van Halen, settling into a love for the blues, and becoming hugely influenced by Pink Floyd’s 1982 release of “The Wall,” moving on to his own music label, recordings, bands, songs and now The Floyd Concept.

Tim Toole, on guitar and vocals, described on the site as delivering “the fun, melodic and emotional dynamic experience so common to all great music shows.” A lifelong fan of Pink Floyd and David Gilmour melodies,  Toole has played in various bands throughout his life, amassing more than 100 shows with his guitar rig of several Fender Stratocasters, Taylor 6 string 314 CE, Fender 12 string, various classic tube amps and modulation effects. 

Bryan Owczarzak, bassist, began his piano studies at age 10 and has early professional experience recording music for local TV and radio commercials while in high school and college. He’s played keyboards and bass in several local jazz and progressive rock bands since the mid-1990s.

Chris Collesano is on percussion, drawn to music at an early age, he started banging on “anything that sounded cool to me,” he says on the website. He bought his first electric guitar at 15 and his first drum set at 12, teaching himself how to play both. Collesano has done several side projects and sessions and studio work, plus solo work, playing tame star classic drums and a variety of snares and cymbals. 

As for Diggs, a Hamburg resident, he won first place in a star search while stationed in Germany, and was nominated for best rock keyboardist for the Buffalo Music Awards in 2011 and 2012 and again in 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

He’s had some time to practice, taking up keyboards at age 8 and never putting them back down, the 55-year-old said. However, he does seem to like talking technology every bit as much as the music — maybe even more. The video production, choreography, lighting, movers on stage in rhythm with the melodies, they all lend that legitimacy and spirit of Pink Floyd to the experience, he said. 

Take the song, “Welcome to the Machine.” 

“You know, the screen is all red. There’s a video of a robot doing office work. You'll see the video footage of that. When you see ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ I mean, we'll have actual clips from Pink Floyd stuff, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ there. We like to use stuff of space, earth and stuff like that,” he said. “So ‘Money,’ of course, we'll use the actual footage of the video for money. And the same thing with ‘Time.’ Also, with the ticking clocks and stuff like that. It's very, very video-driven. And our movers are mounted to our screen. And it kind of flows with the music, which is where our lighting director comes in. And then, plus, we have other types of lighting.”

The band is a side gig for the members, and they perform at least a dozen times a year at festivals and theaters, he said. For Diggs, he’s an electrician for Erie County, and his bandmates are insurance agents, school teachers and the like. It’s not uncommon to go from working a job to performing, and “Western New York has some amazing talent,” he said. 

“It's unbelievable, all the groups that we have around here, and we're very, very fortunate to be playing for the Labor Daze, bringing our show to the Batavia area,” he said. “I’ve been doing bands probably since 1988. Even while I was stationed in Germany, I played in some bands over there, and it was pretty cool. We got a chance to play in places like Frankfort and different venues while I was there, you know, but as far as doing the Pink Floyd stuff, that's always been a dream of mine to do.  I've done like Blues Brothers, progressive rock, stuff like that, but yeah, Pink Floyd just happens to be a passion that I love to do.”

29th Annual Oatka Festival

Each year the Oatka Festival, held on the banks of the scenic Oatka Creek, starts off with a gala musical parade. Many local churches and organizations provide the food choices and the continuous entertainment is family oriented.
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Community welcomed to celebrate History Day at GCC

In honor of New York State History Month, which is celebrated the entire month of November, the Genesee County Federation of Historical Agencies, Western New York Association of Historic Agencies (WNYAHA) and the Genesee Community College History Club are teaming up to sponsor “History Day” at GCC on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the College Forum.
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Sponsored Post: Beertavia, a craft beer festival is Saturday -- Get your tickets today

By Lisa Ace

This year’s third Annual Beertavia promises to be better than ever. With more than 20 local breweries, this year’s attendees will be greeted with over 50 tastings of local craft brew, cider and mead. Along with delicious beverages, the event will host several food and specialty vendors.

As the Headline Sponsor this year, Alex’s Place will be on site serving up their amazing menu. We are pleased to have with us also this year Batavia’s Original Pizzeria, Yancey’s Fancy, Cheesed and Confused Food truck, Buffalo Brew Fab, The Bavarian Nut Factory, Santiago Cigar Factory, and more!

Tickets are still available at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, Angotti Beverage and Batavia Bootery until Friday at 5 p.m., and then available at the event. Get your tickets today for Beertavia this Saturday!

The OHMS Band will be performing live and there will be some great raffles! Click here to purchase your tickets now.

Sponsored Post: The Ramble Music & Arts Festival is Saturday July 1st

By Lisa Ace

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District has partnered with The Batavia Ramble this year to bring a summer festival to downtown. Anyone interested in being a vendor, the Business Improvement District is still taking applications until next Friday, June 23rd. Contact Beth Kemp at or 585.344.0900.

Three-day film, art and music festival coming to GCC in August, deadline for submissions is June 15

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Center for the Arts will welcome Beaver Alley Studios, Inc., and the Western New York Film, Art and Music Event (FAME) from Friday, Aug. 12, until Sunday, Aug. 14, for a three-day festival that will include local and international films, performances, art displays, educational workshops, vendors and networking.

As filmmakers, FAME understands the burden of high festival fees and the frustration of low audience turn out. The group keeps fees low and has created an event with mass appeal. The festival treats film makers, musicians and artists like celebrities with an audience Q&A or panel discussion and encourages active audience participation by allowing attendees to choose some of the awards. Festivalgoers can also take a break to get food, browse vendors, sit in on workshops, or join in the music festival fun.

The mid-August festival at GCC has already received nearly 300 film, music and photography entries from all over the world. The deadline for submissions is June 15. The organization is also seeking workshop presenters, sponsors and vendors. Vendor tables cost $100 for three days, but are discounted to $75 if booked by June 30th.

Tickets for the event are available on a per-block or workshop basis all the way to full VIP all-access. Tickets range from $10 – $60 and more information can be found on the festival Facebook page and the Film Freeway website: The contact phone number is 585-798-2815 or e-mail:

The festival schedule is as follows (subject to change):

Friday, Aug. 12 -- Fright Night -- Scary and Bloody Films:

• 4:00 -- Vendors Open- Opening Band TBD

• 4:15 -- Dmon Productions (Zombie Face painting)

• 4:30 -- Documentary Block

• 5:00 -- Movie Block 1

• 6:30 -- Band - Kamp Crystal Lake

• 7:00 -- Movie Block 2

• 9:00- After Party – at TBD

Saturday, Aug. 13 -- "Girl Power" A focus on films by female writer/directors or strong female leads:

• 11:00 -- Vendors open

• 11:30 -- Workshop -- Shawn Essler -- Becoming a Filmmaker.

• 12:00 -- Movie Block 3

• 1:00 -- Band -- Creative Spirit

• 1:30 -- Workshop B

• 2:00 -- Movie Block 4

• 3:00 -- Band -- Jim Candytree

• 3:30 -- Workshop C

• 4:00 -- Movie Block 5

• 5:00 -- Band -- Anonymous Willpower

• 5:30 -- Documentary Block in Classroom

• 6:00 -- Movie Block 6

• 8:00 -- After Party at TBD Band "The Lonely Ones"

Sunday, Aug. 14 -- WNY films and Family Friendly Films:

• 11:00 -- Vendors open

• 11:15 -- Cosplay Trivia Contest

• 11:30 -- Workshop D

• 12:00 -- Movie Block 7

• 12:15 -- Dmon Productions (Face painting)

• 1:00 -- Band -- The Nigh

• 1:30 -- Workshop E

• 2:00 -- Movie Block 8

• 3:00 -- Band -- Genesee Johnny

• 4:00 -- Movie Block 9 and Awards and Raffles/ Costume Contest

• 6:00 -- Movie Block 10 -- Beaver Alley Studios, Inc., Film "Lonely Bananas"

Beaver Alley Studios, Inc., is a nonprofit organization established for the purpose of facilitating the production, promotion, distribution, exhibition and celebration of independent art in all forms, especially art from a female perspective. The organization offers services such as screenwriting and script consultation, cinematography, editing, film reviews, film school, and packages for events, commercial use, music videos and short films.

Beaver Alley Studios, Inc., was founded by Rhonda L. Parker, a recent GCC graduate who earned degrees in Communications and Media Arts and as well as Paralegal Studies. She graduated with President's List Honors earning a GPA of 3.75 or higher. A resident of Albion, Parker is an active filmmaker and produced the full length movie, "Friends Don't Let Friends - Date Friends" in 2014. She has also written and produced the feature films "Lonely Bananas," "Message in a Bottle," a number of short films, and appeared as a "Walmart mom" in a television commercial.

"We are very excited about hosting an event like no other," Parker said. "Three days of regional and international films, performances from local singers and songwriters, art displays, educational workshops-and of course, the all-important networking giving all attendees the opportunity to explore, exchange and share ideas and inspiring artists to continue their work."

Anyone under the age of 18 will not be admitted without an adult and children must be supervised at all times.

Byron Heritage Day Saturday, July 25

By James Renfrew

Byron Heritage Festival Calendar of Events 

Firemen's Park (Behind Byron Fire Dept. on Rte. 262) 

July 25, 2015


Fishing Derby at Trestle Park 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. (Ages 12 and under) (Sponsored by Byron Kiwanis and Sackett Merrill White American legion Post) (sign-in begins at 7:30 a.m.)


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Byron Heritage Festival Saturday, July 26

By James Renfrew

Byron Heritage Festival   July 26, 2014


      Where is the center of the Universe?  On Saturday, July 26, it will be Byron, New York.  So look it up on MapQuest, orient your GPS and set your Bat-radar for Byron.  Your life will improve, the community’s spirit will be lifted, flags will wave, and the world will be better!  Just look at these great activities and special events taking place throughout the day:


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Byron Heritage Festival

By James Renfrew

Byron Heritage Festival Calendar of Events, Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fishing Derby, sponsored by Byron Kiwanis, ages 12 and under, 9:00-10:00 AM at Trestle Park, registration begins at 8:30 AM.

5K Run, sponsored by Boy Scout Troop #13, 7:00 AM registration at Byron Town Park (behind Byron Fire Hall on Rt. 262), 8:30 AM race begins, 9:45 AM race results.

Garage Sales throughout the town, beginning at 9:00 AM.

Cruise-In, Byron Town Park, 4:00 - 8:00 PM.

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By Kelly Kiebala
The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council’s 32nd annual family event “Picnic in the Park” takes place this Fourth of July. The festivities run from Noon until 5:00pm on Sunday, July 4th, in historic Centennial Park on Richmond Avenue in Batavia. As is tradition, the “Picnic in the Park” is kicked off by the Batavia Concert Band performing on the Main Stage at Noon. This year’s “Picnic in the Park” includes all-day musical entertainment, arts and crafts show, folk arts programs, food vendors, children’s activities, and much more. Admission is free. Please call GO ART!
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Save the Date for the Bergen Park Festival- June 12, 2010

By Rachael Tabelski


The Bergen Business & Civic Association (BBCA) invites you to “Go Country” on Saturday June 12, 2010 at the 21st annual Bergen Park Festival and Parade.  We encourage everyone to dust off your cowboy boots, put on your hat and enjoy some family fun at this years festival. 


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Oatka Festival

By Tasia Boland

Saturday July 18th from 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Main St in Le Roy there will be a parade, food, entertainment, fishing derby and a duck race.

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Oakfield Labor Daze

By M Dawson

Family fun filled Oakfield Labor Daze.  Live music, food booths, games, theme baskets, craft show.  Parade on Monday, Labor Day @ 10:30 AM.  Fireworks Monday @ 9:30 PM.  Classic car show Sunday 2 PM - til?

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The Great Genesee Valley Beer and Wine Festival

By Mike Weaver

St. Joseph School and Batavia Downs Casino is hosting a beer and wine festival on Saturday May 2, 2009 from 6pm to 9pm at the Downs.

This event is formerly know as Marchfest.  We have over 25 tables of vendors offering samples from local restaurants, NY craft beers and wines.  Also, Mark Winsick band wil be playing their award winning blues.

Vendors offering beer samples include Flying Bison Brewing Company, Rohrback Brewing, Magic Hat, Long Trail, Anheuser-Busch, Mendocino Brewing, Souther Tier Brewing, and many more !!!!!

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