There is nothing quite like dancing in the open air. Whether you are soaked in glorious sunshine or partying beneath the stars, everything is more fun in the great outdoors! Historically, Ibiza has been the ultimate location in which to enjoy such activities but recent legislation has restricted the al fresco opportunities in the Balearics. Fortunately there are other places where the only roof is the sky above your head.
This year Top 100 Clubs is powered by Miller Genuine Draft. Throughout the voting period, we will be shining a light on some of the key contenders for the 2014 crown.
We begin this process with last year’s winner – Green Valley.
Location: Camboriu, Brazil
Santa Catarina in southern Brazil has been the boom state of the South American country over the past 20 years. Its mix of fine beaches, idyllic islands, lush vegetation and new Dubai-style skyscrapers have made it a premier tourist destination, and of course the youth of the area — whether resident or visiting — want something to do of an evening.
In 2007, some enterprising locals decided to throw a rave in the middle of the jungle — well, a valley, to be precise. A green one. Looking to deliver “a unique experience at a unique location”, they booked none other than Carl Cox to headline their first event. It went so well and created such a buzz that they began booking other top DJs such as Tiësto, and creating some infrastructure to make it a more permanent spot.
Within three years, Green Valley had shot into the Top 100 Clubs poll at No.27, and within another three years, it was the world's No.1. Quite a meteoric rise! Staying in the top three of the chart all decade, it scooped the No.1 slot again last year and has retained its title in 2019. So it's congratulations to all at Green Valley — an incredible place to party.
Walking up the hill from a car park, it's initially like entering an enchanted wood. A large trophy cabinet displays all the awards they've won as you head towards the main arena, and GV even have their own high-end souvenir shop selling all sorts of merch — from tees to glasses to caps, all bearing their distinctive butterfly logo.
As soon as you start wandering around, you're immediately struck by how Green Valley is more like a boutique festival than a traditional club — populated by swathes of beautiful people. The main arena is a huge permanent structure covered by taut heavyweight tented canvas and plays host to a load of international names throughout the summer months. Martin Garrix, Fatboy Slim, Claptone, Markus Schulz, Steve Angello and last month’s DJ Mag UK cover star Fisher are just some of the big names to have rocked the main arena over the past 12 months, and when you have homegrown superstars such as ALOK and Vintage Culture as residents — both Top 100 DJs acts in their own right — you know you're onto a winner. In fact, Green Valley's reach has been instrumental in catapulting these two DJs (and others) into the international rankings in recent times.
An amazing soundsystem is augmented by several LED walls transmitting cutting-edge visuals triggered by the various in-house VJs, and when you add in CO2 cannons, lasers and other special FX you get an amazing, immersive, festival-type experience here.
Walking down the site, past the lovely lake, you come to the Underline stage — where more underground DJs play. With residents Fabricio Pecanha, San Schwartz, Full Duplex and sometimes Brazil music legend Rodrigo Vieira — when he isn't on the main stage — catering to the more discerning house and techno fans, this area is also a great place to party. It too has received a backstage makeover in the past 12 months.
Further out and up the site, you come to the Lagoon Stage, which also resembles a festival stage. This is predominantly where bass artists ply their wares, and when it's open the club is at full capacity. With assorted bars, chillout areas and more around the site, it really is like a mini-festival in paradise.
Buoyed by their international recognition, Green Valley have taken the brand on tour in recent years — to Asia, Europe and beyond — to give people in other parts of the world a glimpse of the Green Valley experience. Did we mention the beautiful people? During the Top 100 Clubs voting period, their support was boosted again this year by having Brazilian footballer Neymar — a fan of the club — posting support for GV on Instagram to his 112 million followers.
Green Valley really is a fantastic place to rave. It seems like they can do no wrong. They'll be sure to celebrate their No.1 victory in pure Brazilian style soon — but will they be able to hold on for the hat-trick in 2020? Only time will tell...
Location: Camboriú, Brazil
They've done it again! The club that topped the poll in 2013 and 2015 — and has been in the top three all decade — has risen to the apex once more for 2018. So it's congratulations to Green Valley in Brazil, who even had world class footballer Neymar supporting their campaign again this year.
Green Valley is a fantastic place to party. More like a mini-festival than a traditional walled club, the fact that it's largely open-air — thanks to the warm climate in the state of Santa Catarina in the southern part of Brazil — simply adds to the allure.
When you consider that Green Valley was nothing more than a makeshift tent in the middle of an airfield a decade ago — surrounded by lush vegetation — its meteoric rise has been incredible. The legendary Carl Cox played that first rave, creating enough of a stir for the demand to be there in the locality to create a permanent structure. GV quickly built up, and now boasts three main areas, multiple bars, a merchandising boutique and a lovely picturesque lake in the centre of the grounds.
The main room is covered by tented canvas, and plays host to a wealth of international big room names. Sonically, it is equipped with the latest VerTec Series technology by JBL, combined with the latest Funktion One system for DJ monitoring. Huge attention is paid to visuals and lighting, with LED walls transmitting cutting-edge visuals from the various in-house VJs, and several 'light hubs' working overtime. Add in CO2 cannons, lasers and other special effects and you get an amazing immersive experience.
The second room, Underline, is for more underground sounds. A platform has been built at one side in the past 12 months to give a great view of the lake, and new LED walls and lighting put in to amplify the experience of being on a long rectangular dancefloor. And up at the top of GV, the Lagoon Stage — used on especially big nights during Carnival and the like — is like another festival stage in itself.
In the past year, Green Valley has booked the likes of Claptone, Bontan, Duke Dumont, Amine Edge & Dance, Oliver Heldens, Steve Angello, Steve Aoki and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, while also foregrounding top Brazilian artists like Gui Boratto and Felguk. Among the residents are Alok and Vintage Culture — who both rank prominently in the Top 100 DJs list, and who undoubtedly owe part of their success to Green Valley — as well as Chemical Surf, FTampa, Fabrício Peçanha, San Schwartz and the unstoppable Rodrigo Vieira. Backstage, the 'green rooms' are more than ample for visiting DJs.
Green Valley embarked on an international tour recently, taking in China (Hangzhou, Shanghai), Tokyo in Japan, La Coruna in Spain, and Madeira and The Algarve in Portugal — spreading the brand name far and wide in the process. But the main concern is the home club, which is set to put on a host of top nights well into the future. The club will surely be celebrating their status as the No.1 club in the world again, Brazilian-style — reclaiming the Top 100 Clubs crown for 2018.
Green Valley has been in the top three of this poll for the past few years, and shows no sign of fading away. This magnificent electronic music playground didn’t exist ten years ago — in 2007 it was nothing more than a makeshift tent in the middle of an open airfield, set up to host a local rave. Carl Cox headlined that first event, entertaining thousands in his inimitable, infectious way, and the Green Valley partners set about transforming the space into a festival-style jungle superclub. Set in the south of Brazil, in the region that’s been dubbed ‘Brazil’s Ibiza’, it’s a wonderful place to party.
When the sun comes up on the club in the morning, the beautiful natural surroundings are fully revealed — a green valley setting, no less. The main stage is the first arena you come to on entering — after you pass the merchandise shop and trophy cabinet — and pretty much every big name you can think of has plied their wares here. In the last year they’ve staged everyone from David Guetta to Claude VonStroke, Hardwell to Mark Knight, and the appearance of their two biggest Brazilian residents in the Top 100 DJs poll — Vintage Culture and Alok — has a lot to do with their big shows at Green Valley.
While the main stage boasts all the latest tech wizardry — LED panels, CO2 shots, lasers synchronised through timecode technology, etc. — the second stage, The Underline_, is darker and more immersive. It still has a pukka soundsystem, of course, and a great view over the artificial lake constructed as GV was developing. And on special occasions, such as the recent DJ Mag Carnival fiesta, a third stage — resembling another festival stage — is opened for more underground sounds.
Green Valley really is one of the global dance community’s greatest success stories of recent years, and there’s even talk of them setting off on a world tour to further publicise what’s great about their brand.
Voting has now closed in our annual Top 100 Clubs poll. Almost half a million votes have been submitted, from all corners of the globe, making this the biggest year yet!
Ahead of the official results countdown, on 30th March, we highlight a selection of the venues who could be in with a chance of taking the title...
Green Valley is the Brazilian clubbing Mecca that needs no introduction. The winner of last year’s Top 100 Clubs poll, the South American mega-venue has lived up to its title of the World’s No.1 club over the last 12-months, drafting in a slew of top-notch bookings throughout 2015. Think: crowd-pleasing EDM selectors Hardwell, Axwell and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, house heroes Noir, Sharam Jay and Sirus Hood, plus dance music legends like Fatboy Slim and David Guetta.
Born from humble beginnings back in '07, Green Valley started its life as nothing more than a makeshift teepee in the middle of an airfield, set up to host a local rave. Since then, Green Valley has expanded so much that it’s now touted as more of a festival than a nightclub — a visit to its epic 6,000 person capacity main room should be on every committed clubbers bucket list.
Despite starting its life as a rave tent, there’s no short of mod-cons inside Green Valley’s walls: there’s three rooms in total, complete with impressive laser shows, CO2 cannons and several whopping Funktion 1 soundsystems, plus an elevated VIP mezzanine, a massive man-made lake and a GV merch store — there’s even a hair-dressing salon for ladies looking for a rave-ready ‘do.
Technical improvements and international DJ bookings aside, it’s undoubtedly the people who party within its walls that brings Green Valley to life. And with Brazilian ravers some of the friendliest and hard-partying in the world, Green Valley is set to keep delighting clubbers for many years to come!