‘Overwhelmed by grief’: Taylor Swift cancels Rio show after fan’s death
Allianz Stadium will host Taylor Swift this year and can now attract more big name acts. Photo: Getty
A fan’s death amid extreme weather conditions has forced Taylor Swift to postpone second Rio de Janeiro concert.
The 23-year-old fan died amid record-breaking heat during the American singer’s previous night’s show amid sweltering conditions.
“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, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first.”
Concertgoers have complained they were not allowed to take water into the stadium despite soaring temperatures that reached more than 39 degrees Celsius.
As temperatures continued to rise Saturday and with two more shows to go, federal authorities announced that free water would now be made available at concerts and other large events.
The cause of death for Ana Clara Benevides Machado, the young woman who sought medical attention at Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium during Friday’s show, has not yet been announced.
The office of Rio’s public prosecutor opened a criminal investigation and said Benevides’ body was being examined.
Fans and politicians have reacted to Benevides’ death with outrage, speculating it was linked to extreme heat.
In a note shared on her social media, Swift said she had a “shattered heart.”
‘Far too young’
“There’s very little information I have other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young,” the singer wrote of the young woman.
The show’s organiser, Time4Fun, said on Instagram that paramedics attended to Benevides after she reported feeling unwell. She was taken to a first-aid centre and then to a hospital, where she died an hour later, the statement from the Brazilian live entertainment company said.
Fans who attended the Friday show said they were not allowed to bring water bottles into the stadium even though Rio and most of Brazil have had record-breaking temperatures this week amid a dangerous and lasting heat wave. The daytime high in Rio on Friday was 39.1 degrees Celsius but it felt much hotter.
Apparent temperature — a combination of temperature and humidity — hit 59 C in Rio on Friday morning, the highest index ever recorded there.
During the show, Swift paused her performance and asked from the stage for water to be brought to a group of people who had successfully caught the singer’s attention, another fan said.
“They were holding up their phones saying ‘We need water,'” she recalled.
Justice Minister Flávio Dino said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “water bottles for personal use, in suitable material, will be allowed” at concerts and festivals and that show producers must provide free and easily accessible drinking water.
State prosecutors said in a statement they would “monitor measures that seek to avoid new problems and guarantee the protection of the health of the public.”
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.
“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,” Taylo Swift wrote. “I want to say now I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends.”