Taylor Swift postpones her show in Rio, Brazil after a fan died during the concert amid complaints about the heat and lack of water

Taylor Swift postpones her show in Rio, Brazil after a fan died during the concert amid complaints about the heat and lack of water

Rio de Janeiro — Taylor Swift postponed her Eras Tour concert in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday after a 23-year-old fan died during her show on Friday night, according to a message posted on the singer’s Instagram account.

“I’m writing this from the stadium’s dressing room. The decision has been made to postpone tonight’s show due to the extreme temperatures in Rio,” the singer said in a handwritten note she posted on her Instagram account. “The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow artists and crew must always come first.”

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 parade, has not yet been announced. The Rio public prosecutor’s office opened a criminal investigation and said Benevides’ body was being examined.

Benevides’ death shook Brazil. She made her first trip ever to travel from the Midwest to Rio to see her favorite musician. She also created a WhatsApp group to keep her family updated, sending photos and videos every step of the way, family members told online news site G1.

Fans and politicians reacted to her death with anger, speculating that it was linked to extreme heat.

Concertgoers complained that they were not allowed to bring water to the stadium despite the stifling weather. As temperatures continued to rise on Saturday and with two more shows scheduled at the time, the feds announced that free water would now be provided at concerts and other large events.

A friend of Benevides, who also attended the concert, told local media that they had been given water while waiting to enter the stadium.

In a handwritten letter she posted on social media, Swift said she was “heartbroken.”

“I have little information other than the fact that she was very beautiful and very young,” the singer wrote about the young woman.

Paramedics attended to Benevides after she reported feeling unwell, the show’s organizer, Time4Fun, said on Instagram. A statement from the Brazilian live entertainment company said she was taken to a first aid center and then to a hospital, where she died an hour later.

Fans attending Friday’s show said they were not allowed to bring water bottles into the stadium even though Rio and much of Brazil saw record temperatures this week amid a dangerous and persistent heat wave. The highest daytime temperature in Rio on Friday was 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 degrees Fahrenheit), but it was much hotter.

The apparent temperature – a combination of temperature and humidity – reached 59 C (138 F) on Friday morning in Rio, the highest ever recorded there.

Elizabeth Morin (26 years old), who recently moved to Rio from Los Angeles, described the “sauna-like” conditions inside the stadium.

“It was very hot,” she said. “My hair was wet with sweat as soon as I walked in.” “There was a point where I had to check my breathing to make sure I wouldn’t pass out.”

Maureen said she drank a lot of water but saw “a large number of people looking sad” and others “screaming for water.” She said she was able to get water from the edges of the area she was standing in, but it was very difficult to get water from other parts of the stadium, “especially if you’re worried about losing your exact location.”

Taylor Swift fans wait for the doors to the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium to open for her Eras Tour concert amid a heatwave in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, November 18, 2023.

AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

During the show, Swift paused her performance and asked the stage to bring water to a group of people who successfully caught the singer’s attention, according to Morin.

“They would pick up their phones and say, ‘We need water,'” she recalled.

Two other concertgoers interviewed by The Associated Press said they saw people becoming heat exhausted during the show.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “water bottles for personal use, made of suitable materials, will be allowed” at concerts and festivals, and that show producers must provide free and easily accessible drinking water.

Swift has two more shows scheduled in Rio, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Prosecutors said in a statement that they “will monitor measures that seek to avoid new problems and ensure the protection of the public’s health.”

Before the show, Benevides posted a video of herself on Instagram wearing a Taylor Swift T-shirt and friendship bracelets, and seeking shade under an umbrella while waiting in line to enter the stadium.

In a video she sent to family members and broadcast by Globo News TV, she told them: “Mom, look at the plane, it’s moving. Mom, I’m on the plane. Oh my God in the sky! I’m happy!” “

Like her, thousands of fans waited for hours in the sun before being allowed inside.

Shaking her face, she told her followers that she arrived at 11 a.m., the show started around 7:30 p.m., and that she was “still a mess.”

Benevides’ friend, Daniele Menin, who attended the concert with her, told the online news site G1 that her friend lost consciousness at the beginning of the concert, while Swift was performing her second song, “Cruel Summer.”

“We always said that when she (Taylor Swift) comes to Brazil we will find a way to go. The ticket was expensive, but we still found a way,” Menin told G1.

“The loss of a young woman’s life…is unacceptable,” Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said on Channel X.

While authorities investigate the circumstances of the death, the municipality on Saturday will demand that the show’s production company provide new water distribution points, more brigades and ambulances, and advance the show’s entry time by one hour, Pais wrote.

“I won’t be able to talk about this from the stage because I feel sad when I try to talk about it,” Taylor Swift wrote. “I want to say now that I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends.”

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