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The Vol-B-Que Events

Posted on Oct 27, 2014

For years, I’ve heard people all around the sport of volleyball complain about attendance numbers at big matches. While elite volleyball players are rockstars in countries like Brazil, Poland and Italy, they just don’t draw at home. So I set out to change that. Taking a cue from USC tailgates, I invented the “Vol-B-Que,” an all-day volleyball festival where fans can play, eat, dance, dress up, meet players, win prizes and otherwise party at the venue prior to big Team USA matches. At the first VBQ, I invited 30 people and 72 showed up. At the second, I sold $20 tickets, added catering and drew 300. By the third, USA Volleyball’s Foundation was involved and 520 people paid $25 each—meaning 10% of the sold out Long Beach Pyramid crowd came at my invitation.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of being on the U.S. National Volleyball Team but just didn’t have the athletic ability. Now, thanks to the Vol-B-Que, I’ve found a way to contribute to the team.


VBQ4onVBM.thumbArticle in Volleyball Magazine

At first glance, the format for the Intercontinental (preliminary) Round of the 2015 FIVB World League tournament appears fair: each country faces the other three teams in its pool four times—playing host to two matches… [full article]


Excerpt from

If you were at the NORCECA qualifier in Long Beach or you watched the match on television, chances are that you are familiar with Matt Garthoff. It’s hard to miss him actually. Dressed like George Washington complete with tricorn hat… [full article]

VBQ2.vbmag Excerpt from Volleyball Magazine

When the United States Men’s National Team rolls up to the Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State University for the NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament this month, they might take a second look at their calendars… [full article]


Vol-B-Que 2 Recap Video


Vol-B-Que 3 Photo Slideshow

  • 3manBlock
  • BusArrives
  • ChansEat
  • Costumes
  • CrowdInGame
  • DavidLeeHi5
  • DeeWW
  • DionCrew
  • FuerbyTickertape
  • GabbyCrew
  • GroupHero
  • HoltWinsIt
  • JamesBrownRocky
  • MattDance
  • MaxHitsMiddle
  • PaulStoked
  • PepperChallenge
  • PyramidFull
  • SmmzysGrass



  1. Olympic Channel | Matt Garthoff
    September 21, 2017

    […] been making silly videos with my daughter to promote Vol-B-Que events since 2011. They’re usually shot on a phone, edited in iMovie and produced with a whopping […]

  2. Thank you | Matt Garthoff
    January 16, 2016

    […] June was a blur. Along with my partner from USA Volleyball, Lauren Schoenherr, I hosted the 4th Vol-B-Que event for the USA Men’s National Volleyball Team. It was a huge success with nearly 700 people playing and partying all day and night to support Team USA. And it worked. We smashed Team Russia in straight sets and raised a few thousand dollars for the USA Volleyball Foundation. To learn more about what a Vol-B-Que is, check out this blog post. […]

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