Location: Camboriú, Brazil
Just as the pandemic spread internationally in early 2020, Green Valley carried off its fifth Top 100 Clubs No. 1 award — the venue’s third in a row. “It felt like a breath of strength amidst the uncertainty of the moment,” says Antonio Afonso, International Managing Director of Green Valley. “We were happy, even without being able to celebrate this achievement with our audience, the true ones responsible for getting us there and being in that position.”
After shutting due to Covid and trying to look after its workforce, disaster struck at the end of June. A cyclone ripped through southern Brazil and the state of Santa Catarina, leaving nine people dead — and decimating the sprawling Green Valley complex. The main stage was destroyed, the huge tented area rendered useless, while the roof blew off the UNDERline_ second stage and landed in a lake 100 metres away. “All ravaged, broken and on the ground,” says Antonio. “Years of struggle, construction and beautiful stories. Years of good feelings dedicated and exchanged between people and artists. Everything, destroyed in a matter of minutes.”
After a few days of despondency, particularly on the part of owner Eduardo Philipps — who has devoted a significant part of his life to the club — GV was cheered by the support it received from DJs, friends, regulars and partners. Out of this came the Together We Rise project — “a movement of love and solidarity that made us see a light at the end of the tunnel” — whereby clubbers purchased tickets upfront for the reopening on an unspecified date, with DJs offering to donate their sets for free. This sold-out event allowed the rebuilding work to begin almost immediately. “All this love we received turned into determination, gratitude and the desire to bring a new Green Valley — bigger, better, more comfortable than the previous one,” Antonio tells DJ Mag.
The outdoor club has put in a new main stage — “virtually indestructible”, according to Antonio. New bars, new toilets, new areas have been built — basically, the levelling of the club has been used as an opportunity to build back afresh. “We’ve created a new ‘greenish’ electronic atmosphere in the middle of our natural green valley, combining new technologies of sound, light and visual systems,” outlines Antonio. The new design is under wraps at the moment, but DJ Mag has seen a sneak preview of the plans — and they do, indeed, look amazing.
Green Valley is also constructing a memorial wall, featuring the name of every person who has helped with the rebuild. “This monument is being made by a Brazilian plastic artist, with materials collected from the destruction of the club after the cyclone,” says Antonio. Other bits of the destroyed club are being upcycled into exclusive fashion items too.
Due to Brazil being one of the regions worst affected by Covid, GV doesn't know yet when it'll be able to open its doors again - but the team hope it'll be by the end of 2021. Despite being closed all this time, its fans have still voted in droves for GV as their favourite club. It may have been knocked off the top spot this year, but No. 2 in the world is still a highly respectable position to be in when it does return.