Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Phuentsholing will host the country’s ‘biggest’ live music event starting on November 25.

The mega show, a pilot project, is aimed at making Phuentsholing an “Entertainment Hub,” according to Phuentsholing Thromde.

It is targeted to boost the morale of local residents, give an exhilarating experience after the pandemic and provide a platform for socialising without any cultural and social barriers.

Phuentsholing is chosen for this event to bring back the liveliness of the city, and to help revive the local economy of the town. It is also because of favourable weather conditions.

A thromde official, Yeshey Choden said that the Mega Night show will be held at an international standard for the first time in Bhutan.

“We want to make it an annual event resembling an international music festival like sunburn, which is a famous music festival in India, Tomorrow Land, Cross Road, Coachella, etc,” she said.

As of now, thromde has managed many Bhutanese artists who are renowned with a huge fan base. Thromde was not able to bring the international artist due to time issues and also because of prior engagement of the artist (regional artists).

However, if the show is successful, thromde plans to bring artists from outside to make the festival even grander.

Meanwhile, the Mega Night show will be an open-air festival where the audience will also be part of the show. There will be food, drinks, merchandise shopping, and a DJ night, among others.

A total of 44 stalls will be allowed during the event. It will have 15 bars, six merchandise shops, and five stalls each for Bhutanese fast food, Indian fast food, and snacks. Six other stalls will be allowed for western (continental) fast food and café and another two stalls for different fast food items.

“It is a completely fun package,” Yeshey Choden said.

Although everyone is excited about the event, there are others who say the timing is wrong.

“Given what the people in Phuentsholing have gone through during the pandemic, this is a nice event,” Phub Tshering, a resident said.

“But many may not come because it will be exam time for children. Children themselves may come skipping their studies.”

Some people also feel that Nu 10,000 stall fee per day is expensive.

“3-metre by 2-metre is a small stall,” a resident said. “How much will they sell? At the end of the day, stall owners will sell at higher prices.”

Meanwhile, the event will be held at the Phuentsholing Sports Association artificial turf football ground. Every day, the show will start at 9pm and close at 3am.

A ticket will cost Nu 300 per individual.

Thromde officials also said that they don’t have any target audience as such.

“But we are expecting our own local residents to be active participants, visitors from other parts of the country since Phuentsholing will provide favourable weather and also spectators from the neighbouring region,” Yeshey Choden said.

A total of Nu 10 million will be invested in this event. There will be a stage with a lighting truss, lighting system automatically adjusted to the mood of the song to give the show’s effect and vibe, which will be used for the first time in Bhutan, a high-end sound system, LED backdrop with camera and crew members to cover the show live on the LED screen backdrop.

A neat barricade for the separation of audiences from the performer. The event will have reliable security to monitor with CCTVs. A fire brigade will also be in place.

If this event is a successful and remarkable one, Phuentsholing Thromde will host it annually.