Taylor Swift postpones Brazil concert amid heat wave day after fan dies at Friday show
Taylor Swift postponed her Saturday night Eras Tour show in Brazil due to the record-breaking heat wave overtaking Rio de Janeiro.
The “Style” singer announced that was delaying her performance in an Instagram Story Saturday.
“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,” she explained. “The safety and well being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first.”
The decision came one day after Ana Clara Benevides, a 23-year old psychology student, fainted in the front row of Swift’s Friday concert in Rio. She was given 40 minutes of CPR on-site before being taken to the hospital, where she died, her friend Thiago Fernandes told the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.
A 23-year old student died at the Swift concert as the heat index reached a reported 140 degrees. Fans were not permitted to bring water into the stadium.
The concert’s organizer, Time For Fun, corroborated Fernandes’ account in an Instagram post and added that Benevides died after receiving emergency medical attention for an hour. No official cause of death has been reported.
According to Folha, the heat index at the Estàdio Nilton Santos reached 140 degrees, causing 1,000 fans to faint, per an unofficial firefighter count. Videos from the concert showed Swift stopping the show twice to get more water bottles into the crowd, and she herself threw bottles from the stage to distressed fans.
Over 60,000 people attended the concert, and the venue had prohibited fans from bringing water bottles inside. Temperatures in Rio had been soaring all week — on Tuesday, the heat index hit 137 degrees, the highest ever recorded in Rio.
Time For Fun also announced that Saturday’s show will be rescheduled for Nov. 20 and that Sunday’s show will go on as originally planned. Swift is also scheduled to perform three shows in São Paulo from Nov. 24-26.
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On Friday night, Swift addressed Benevides’ death on her Instagram Story.
“I can’t believe I’m writing these words but it is with shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show. I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this,” she shared in a handwritten note. “There’s very little information I have other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young. 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. This is the last thing I ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil.”
In response to Benevides’ death, fans started a petition, which had surpassed 200,000 signatures by Saturday morning, to create a law that would provide free water at all venues in Brazil. Flávio Dino, Brazil’s minister of Justice, tweeted Saturday morning that personal water bottles will now be allowed into concert venues, and promoters hosting shows with “high heat exposure” will be required to provide accessible water stations inside the venue.
Times staff writer Kenan Draughorne contributed to this report.
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