The first of Taylor Swift’s three shows in Rio de Janeiro has been overshadowed by the tragic loss of fan Ana Clara Benevides, who collapsed just minutes into the start of the Eras Tour set.
The 23-year-old psychology student suffered a cardiovascular attack, reported to have reached an internal temperature of 60 degrees celsius. One of her lifelong dreams was to attend a Taylor Swift concert and see her perform live.
This week, temperatures were the highest in the year for the Brazilian capital, with a heat index reaching 58 degrees. Despite the overwhelming heat wave, fans were not allowed to bring personal water bottles inside the Nilton Santos Stadium.
According to fans, water was sold for eight reais a glass inside the stadium, with many complaints on crowding and disorganisation.
“I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this,” a heartbroken Swift shared via a post on Instagram stories. “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.”
“I want to say now I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends,” she continued. “This is the last thing I ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil.”
Following the tragedy, the Justice & Public Security Minister Fálvio Dino announced that the entry of personal water bottles will now be allowed at all shows.
He also stated that producing companies should provide free drinking water to attendees in cases of high heat exposure, as well as more medical personnel.
In light of the extreme temperatures for the rest of the weekend, Swift and her team decided to postpone the rest of the Rio shows.
“The safety and wellbeing of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first,” shared the popstar via Instagram.
This will be the second week in a row that Taylor will postpone her shows in Latin America due to inclement weather, following heavy rains in Buenos Aires last Friday.
by Andrea Puerto