RIO DE JANEIRO –
Taylor Swift postponed an Eras tour concert in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday after a 23-year-old fan died during her show Friday night, according to a post on the singer’s Instagram.
“I’m writing this from my dressing room in the stadium. The decision has been made to postpone tonight’s show due to the extreme temperatures in Rio,” the singer said in a handwritten note posted on her Instagram account. “The safety and well-being of my fans, my fellow artists and my team must and always will be the priority.”
The cause of death of Ana Clara Benevides Machado, the young woman who sought medical attention at the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium during Friday’s show, has not yet been announced. Rio’s prosecutor’s office opened a criminal investigation and said Benevides’ body was being examined.
Benevides’ death shook many people in Brazil. She had taken her first flight from the center-west of the country to Rio to see her favorite musician. She also created a WhatsApp group to keep her family informed, sending photos and videos every step of the way, family members told online news site G1.
Fans and politicians reacted to his death with outrage, speculating that it was linked to extreme heat.
Spectators complained that they were not allowed to bring water into the stadium despite the sweltering weather. As temperatures continued to rise Saturday and with two more shows at that time, federal authorities announced that free water would now be made available at concerts and other large events.
One of Benevides’ friends, who also went to the concert, told local media that they were both given water while waiting to enter the stadium.
In a previous statement shared on her social media on Saturday morning, Swift said she was “heartbroken.”
“I have very little information other than the fact that she was incredibly beautiful and much too young,” the singer wrote of the young woman.
Show organizer Time4Fun said on Instagram that paramedics went to Benevides after she felt unwell. She was transported to a first aid center and then to hospital, where she died an hour later, said the press release from the Brazilian performing arts company.
Fans who attended Friday’s spectacle said they were not allowed to bring bottled water into the stadium, even though Rio and most of Brazil experienced record temperatures this week amid a dangerous and lasting heat wave. The daytime high in Rio on Friday was 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 degrees Fahrenheit), but it was much warmer.
The apparent temperature – a combination of temperature and humidity – reached 59C on Friday morning in Rio, the highest reading ever recorded there.
Elizabeth Morin, 26, who recently moved from Los Angeles to Rio, described the “sauna-like” conditions inside the stadium.
“It was extremely hot. My hair was so wet with sweat as soon as I walked in,” she said. “There was a point where I had to check my breathing to make sure I wasn’t going to pass out.”
Morin said she drank a lot of water, but saw “quite a few people looking distressed” and others “yelling for water.” She said she could get water from the margins of the area she was in, but that water was much harder to access from other parts of the stadium, “especially if you were worried about losing your specific location”.
During the show, Swift interrupted her performance and demanded from the stage that water be brought to a group of people who had managed to catch the singer’s attention, according to Morin.
“They were holding up their phones saying, ‘We need water,'” she recalls.
Two other concertgoers interviewed by The Associated Press said they saw people feeling unwell from the heat during the show.
While traveling to Rio, Benevides sent a video to her family members, broadcast by the Globo News television channel, in which she told them: “Mom, look at the plane, it’s moving. Mom, I’m on the plane. My God! I’m happy!”
Then, before the concert, she posted a video of herself on Instagram wearing a Taylor Swift T-shirt and friendship bracelets, seeking shade under an umbrella while waiting in line to enter the stadium.
Like her, thousands of fans waited for hours in the sun before being allowed inside.
While fanning her face, she told her followers that she arrived at 11 a.m. (the show started around 7:30 p.m.) and was “still in trouble.”
Benevides’ friend Daniele Menin, who attended the concert with her, told online news site G1 that her friend fainted at the start of the concert, while Swift was performing her second song, “Cruel Summer.” .
“We always said that when (Taylor Swift) came to Brazil, we would find a way to go. The ticket was very expensive, but we still found a way,” Menin told G1.
Justice Minister Flavio Dino said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that in the future in Brazil “water bottles for personal use, in appropriate material, will be allowed” concerts and festivals and that show producers must provide free and easily accessible drinking water. .
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes wrote on X that “the loss of a young woman’s life… is unacceptable” and demanded more brigades and ambulances at upcoming shows.
The concert was nevertheless postponed.
“We’re on the train. And everyone is so disappointed,” said Hely Olivares, a 41-year-old Venezuelan who came from Panama to see the artist.
Before postponing the concert, Swift wrote on Instagram that she would not address the death from the stage “because I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it.”
“I want to say now that I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to his family and friends,” she said.