RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A 23-year-old Taylor Swift fan died at the singer’s Eras Tour concert in Rio de Janeiro According to a statement from the organizers of the show in Brazil on Friday evening. Both fans and politicians reacted outraged to the news.
Ana Clara Benevides Machado’s cause of death has not yet been announced. Rio prosecutors opened a criminal investigation and said Benevides’ body was being examined.
But concertgoers complained that they were not allowed to bring water into the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium despite soaring temperatures, and federal authorities announced that free water would be provided at all future concerts.
In a handwritten note posted to her social media, Swift said she has a “shattered heart.”
“There is very little information that I have other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young,” the singer wrote of the young woman.
Show organizer Time4Fun said on Instagram that paramedics attended to Benevides after she reported feeling unwell. She was taken to a first aid center and then to a hospital, where she died an hour later, the Brazilian live entertainment company’s statement said.
Fans who attended Friday’s show said they were not allowed to bring water bottles into the stadium, despite Rio and most of Brazil experiencing record-breaking temperatures this week a dangerous and prolonged heat wave. The daily maximum temperature in Rio on Friday was 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 degrees Fahrenheit), but it felt much hotter.
The apparent temperature – a combination of temperature and humidity – reached 59°C (138°F) in Rio on Friday morning, the highest ever recorded there.
Elizabeth Morin, 26, who recently moved to Rio from Los Angeles, described “sauna-like” conditions at the stadium.
“It was extremely hot. When I walked in, my hair was so wet with sweat,” she said. “There was a point where I had to check my breathing to make sure I wasn’t going to pass out.”
Morin said she drank a lot of water but “saw a whole lot of people who looked desperate” and others who were “screaming for water.” She said she was able to get water from the sidelines of the area where she was standing, but from other parts of the stadium the water was much more difficult to get to, “especially if you were afraid of losing your specific spot.”
During the show, Swift interrupted her performance and asked from the stage to bring water to a group of people, who, according to Morin, successfully caught the singer’s attention.
“They held up their phones and said, ‘We need water,'” she remembers.
Justice Minister Flávio Dino said on X that the ministry would introduce “emergency rules” in response to the situation. He later announced that “personal use water bottles made of appropriate material will be permitted at concerts and other events” and that show producers must provide free and easily accessible drinking water.
Swift has two more shows scheduled in Rio, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Prosecutors said in a statement they would “monitor measures aimed at preventing new problems and ensuring the protection of the public’s health.”
Before the show, Benevides posted a video of herself on Instagram wearing a Taylor Swift T-shirt and waiting in line at the stadium entrance while seeking shade under an umbrella. Like them, thousands of fans waited in the sun for hours before being allowed inside.
She told her followers, while fanning her face, that she had arrived at 11am – the show started around 7.30pm – and was “still in chaos”.
Benevides’ friend Daniele Menin, who attended the concert with her, told online news site G1 that her friend fainted at the start of the concert when Swift performed her second song, “Cruel Summer.”
“We always said that if (Taylor Swift) came to Brazil, we would find a way. The ticket was very expensive, but we still found a way,” Menin told G1.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said on X that the “loss of a young woman’s life… is unacceptable.”
While authorities investigate the circumstances of the death, Paes wrote, the community will on Saturday demand that the show’s production company provide new water distribution points, more brigades and ambulances, and advance entry to the show by an hour.
“I won’t be able to talk about it on stage because I’ll be overwhelmed with grief if I even try to talk about it,” she wrote. “I want to say now that I feel this loss deeply and my heartbreak goes out to her family and friends.”