My rating of the Club: 7/10. Big, festival-style club in Balneario Camboriu, Brazil, championing mostly mainstream house music. Voted #1 club in the world by DJ mag, and while it’s undoubtedly beautiful I feel that it lacks character.
If Warung Beach Club is the temple of underground dance music of Brazil, Green Valley is the Brazilian playground of big room house music. The two pillars of dance music in Brazil, in reality, are located in the same city. Warung Beach Club by the beaches of Praia Brava, and Green Valley inland in the rain forests of the state of Santa Catarina. Both are formidable forces in the Brazilian dance music scene, and the rivalry is apparent. My Praia Brava friends were firmly in the Warung/Underground camp, speaking of Green Valley with scorn “So commercial.” On the other hand, Green Valley’s fan base is apparent with its standing as the #1 or #2 club in the world, as voted by fans ion DJ mag, in the past couple of years.
Green Valley is in the middle of nowhere, the rain forest about a 20 minute drive from Balneario Camboriu. From where I was staying in Praia Brava, it cost us a 50 real ($20) cab ride.
The first time I went to Green Valley, I saw Bingo Players. A week later, Green Valley lost its place as the #1 club in the world to Space Ibiza, so I was glad that I got to be there while it was still “first”! The second time I went, we saw Tujamo and Hard Rock Sofa.
The club has a huge main floor, that is “open air” but with a tent above it. It’s festival style – the DJ is on a high booth, surrounded by LED screens. The music surrounds you wherever you go. As you can see from the lineup, the main DJs that spin at Green Valley are commercial. However, I also discovered my favorite DJ in Brazil there – Alok. Alok spun after Bingo Players did, and his signature style is the underground sound but with a more funky beat.
There’s another stage that is indoors and plays underground music. It’s significantly smaller and is a good chill out area – nothing special though!
In Green Valley, it’s interesting that there are actually 3 types of tickets – pista, camarote, and backstage. Pista (“floor”) is the general area and camarote (which means VIP) is a gated area between the DJ booth and the general dance floor, that’s to say that if you are just GA, you cannot stand right below the DJ. The backstage pass actually allows you to be on the stage next to the DJ.
The crowd in Green Valley, as in southern Brazilian fashion, is beautiful. People are quite friendly and ready to meet fellow party-goers. There are very few foreigners there, so if you’re a foreigner people will be curious about you!
The prices for drinks are not cheap – same as Warung, like 20 reais (8 dollars) for a red bull and 15 reais (6 dollars) for a shot of vodka. There’s also a Green Valley store within the club, where you can buy Green Valley clothing, accessories, and souvenirs (there’s also a store in Balneario Camboriu open during business hours if you forget to do your shopping in the club). Temakis, for some reason, are very popular in Brazilian nightclubs; there’s a temaki bar in Green Valley too. There’s also a Pizza bar and it’s quite delicious! I like how there’s food in the club and ample seating – it allows you to recharge to go the whole night, since the party doesn’t end until at least after 6am.
Does Green Valley deserve the #1 club in the world spot? Keep in mind that the DJ Mag Top 100 list is fan-voted, so clubs that campaign a lot usually do better. I have never been to the clubs in Ibiza (which have the other top spots in the DJ Mag Top 100 list), but I do think that Green Valley lacks the character that a couple of the other top clubs have, and it’s definitely not the best club I’ve ever been to.
What about the eternal Warung vs Green Valley discussion? Well, I was there to observe and absorb so I stayed out of the Warung vs Green Valley / Underground vs. Mainstream discussion. I gave both clubs a fair chance, going to both clubs twice between February to April of 2014. For me, I think Warung wins in uniqueness, character, and its beauty, although the Green Valley crowd was no fun. In the end it comes down to what type of music you prefer.