Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

The five-day Mega Night Show that ended yesterday was one of the biggest entertainment events Phuentsholing saw in decades.

It saw hundreds of people from neighbouring dzongkhags as far as Thimphu and across the border crowd at the Phuentsholing Sports Association (PSA) football turf to enjoy live music and shows. However, many sports enthusiasts and residents mourn the state of the turf.

Despite being cleaned, the turf is filled with cigarette butts, chewing gums, canned beer lids, and pet bottles. The turf has also been burnt in many spots. Stains of doma and vomit are also seen. Drains are left choked with pet bottles.

The ground was littered with all kinds of waste

Some areas outside the turf boundaries stink of urine.

According to the general secretary of the PSA, Sonam Lhagyel, they inspected about 20 spots where the turf was left with burns.

“We haven’t even checked the whole ground,” he said. “At least 45 square metres of the turf will be needed to cover these up.”

However, covering the damaged turf in patches will make the turf look untidy. For replacing the entire turf, PSA will need about Nu 10.7 millions (M).

Mega Night, the country’s biggest-ever musical live show, was a five-night event held from November 25 to November 29. Although the show didn’t see many regional tourists, PSA ground was filled with thousands of locals. The last night of the event saw more than 10,000 people.

A total of 19 local bands performed. People indulged in live songs, drinks and eateries until 3am.

“On the last day, because the crowd was so huge, I had personally requested about 15 groups to not smoke,” the PSA general secretary Sonam Lhagyel said.

PSA had written to the thromde office requesting not to allow smoking and chewing gum, he said, explaining adding it was uncontrollable due to the crowd.

Meanwhile, Phuentsholing Thromde, the event organiser had placed dustbins but they were filled too quickly. Every day, the ground was left littered. Broken wine bottles were also found on the morning after the last show.

A resident said that the turf must now be thoroughly brushed up.

“Otherwise, it will be risky for players,” he said.

PSA is going to resume the departmental football tournament as soon as possible.

PSA football turf was inaugurated in 2017. Due to the pandemic, the turf remained mostly idle in 2020 and 2021.