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Taylor Swift fan dies at Rio concert as fans complain about high temps

While the cause of death has not been announced, media reported that fans were not allowed to take water into the stadium despite rising temperatures.
Taylor Swift fan dies at Rio concert as fans complain about high temps
Posted at 7:31 AM, Nov 18, 2023

A 23-year-old Taylor Swift fan died at the singer's Eras Tour concert in Rio de Janeiro Friday night, according to a statement from the show's organizers in Brazil.

The cause of death for Ana Clara Benevides Machado has not been officially announced, but the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported she died from cardiac arrest. The newspaper also reported nearly 1,000 people in the stadium fainted as temperatures reached 140 degrees Fahrenheit during the show, according to firefighters at the scene. 

Media reported that fans were not allowed to take water into the stadium despite the soaring temperatures, and the city's mayor demanded changes before Swift's final two shows.

In a handwritten note shared on her social media, Swift said she had a "shattered heart."

"There's very little information I have other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young," the singer wrote.

The show's organizers, Time4Fun, said on Instagram that Benevides was attended by paramedics after feeling unwell. She was taken to the stadium's first aid center, then to a hospital, where she died an hour later, the statement read.

Several local media reported that water bottles were not allowed inside the Nilton Santos Olympic stadium, even though Rio and most of Brazil have had record-breaking temperatures this week, amid a dangerous and lasting heat wave, and fans were queuing for several hours in the sun.

Justice Minister Flávio Dino said on X that the ministry will allow personal water bottles into the stadium for the remaining shows and have "hydration islands" available. 

Online news site G1 reported that one of Benevides' friends, who attended the concert with her, said her friend passed out at the beginning of the concert, as Swift performed her second song, “Cruel Summer.”

A photo of the two friends show them wearing Taylor Swift T-shirts inside the stadium.

“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”, she told G1 shortly after her friend’s death.

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

While authorities are investigating the circumstances of the death, Paes wrote, the municipality will demand Saturday that the show’s production company provide new water distribution points, more brigades and ambulances and advance entrance to the show by one hour.

Swift has two more shows in Rio on Saturday and Sunday.

“I'm not going to be able to speak about this from stage because I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it,” she wrote. “I want to say now I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends.” 

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