By Dana Getz
Chicago Sport and Social Club took over North Avenue Beach July 13, transforming the sunny tourist hot spot into a spring break rager worthy of the big screen. Around 4,000 people flocked to the annual Volleywood Beach Bash event, enjoying food, drinks and all-day live entertainment as over 300 teams competed in the Midwest’s largest adult beach volleyball tournament. This year’s performances included Grammy award-winning artist Nelly and hip-hop tribute band Too White Crew, as well as live DJ sets from B96’s Jerzy and local favorite DJ Rock City.
The day kicked off at 8 a.m. for the tournament, with recreational and competitive teams facing off on the beach while local bars competed within a sectioned off area of the venue. When DJ Rock City took the stage around 11 a.m. several small groups had already trickled in to claim their spots for the day, and by 3 p.m. the place was overflowing with revved up beach goers. Drink representatives passed out samples and other free giveaways throughout the day, and Akira turned the beach into a sandy catwalk for a mini-fashion show midway through.
The event started 10 years ago as a volleyball tournament for Chicago Sport and Social members, according Club President Jason Erkes. It was rebranded into Volleywood around its third year as an opportunity for players to stick around and relax after the competition.
“It started as a beach volleyball tournament and over the course of time it just kinda grew. Each year we’d add some different elements to it,” said Erkes. “I think it’s really grown to be one of those iconic Chicago summer events.”