Photo: Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
Taylor Swift is mourning a fan who died during the Eras Tour’s latest stop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “I can’t believe I’m writing these words but it is with a shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show,” Swift wrote in a handwritten statement shared to her Instagram Story. “I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this. There’s very little information I have other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young.” Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported that 23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides fainted and was revived at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos concert venue, and was then taken to a hospital where she ultimately died of cardiorespiratory arrest. Her death was confirmed to Folha by Benevides’s cousin, Estela Benevides, as well as the concert organizer Time For Fun. It’s unclear if Benevides got to see Swift take the stage when the show began at around 7:30 p.m. local time.
Swift’s Friday show coincided with a heat wave in Brazil, with Folha reporting that the “feels-like” temperature on site was 140°F. Firefighters unofficially recorded one thousand people fainting at the show, according to Folha. Some fans have taken to social media to claim that the venue did not allow concertgoers to bring water bottles inside, despite the extreme temperature. Fan-taken footage shows that Swift paused the show to point out that fans needed water, and at one point was seen throwing a water bottle herself into the audience.
Swift is scheduled to perform at the same venue on Sunday and Monday after postponing her Saturday concert due to “extreme temperatures.” Early Saturday morning, Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes released a statement implementing changes for the next show. According to Paes, doors will open doors one hour earlier to keep fans out of the sun, new water distribution points will be added, and the number of fire marshals and ambulances will be increased. Time For Fun also confirmed via Instagram that they will distribute free water to fans and allow sealed water cups, bottles, and food to be brought into the venue for the upcoming shows. Meanwhile, the head of Brazil’s consumer protection agency, Wadih Damous, told the New York Times that the government will be investigating Time for Fun, explaining, “The decision to prevent thousands of people from drinking water in 60-degree Celsius heat is insane and irresponsible.”
According to a report from CNN Brasil, on November 18, Brazil’s federal government issued a 24-hour deadline for the concert producer to provide information to the National Consumer Secretariat explaining the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. CNN reports that the order specifically seeks information on, “who determined the ban on access to water at the show, whether drinking fountains were available, [information] about the technical staff responsible for medical care at the event location, [and] what procedures were adopted to help Ana Clara.” Following a response from Time For Fun, the National Consumer Secretariat will make a decision on opening proceedings against the event producer.
In her Instagram Story statement, Swift said she will not be able to speak about her fan’s death on stage because she feels “overwhelmed by grief” when she tries to talk about it. “I want to say now I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends,” Swift said. “This is the last thing I ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil.”
This is a developing story.
Taylor Swift Mourns Fan Who Died Before Brazil Concert
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