Woman dies after going to sweltering Taylor Swift concert in Rio

A woman died Friday night after attending a show for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in Rio de Janeiro during sweltering temperatures, according to concert organizers.

The woman —23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides Machado — was first brought to paramedics after feeling unwell, according to a statement released by Time4Fun, the show organizers, on Instagram. She was taken to the Nilton Santos Stadium’s first aid center, then transported to a hospital, where she died. She suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest, according to a statement from the Brazil’s Ministry of Culture, but an official cause of death has not yet been announced.

Swift shared a statement about the death on Instagram overnight. “I can’t believe I’m writing these words but it is with a shattered heart that I saw we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show. I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this,” she wrote. “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.”

Videos from the concert shared on social media documented Swift stopping mid-show while audience members chanted “Water!” and asking staff to address the situation.

“It’s very hot, so when somebody says they need water … they really need it,” she said.

At other points in the 3-hour concert, the singer asked for water after performing “Mastermind,” and she later picked up a bottle and threw it into a section of the crowd.

Swifties had been energized for the record-shattering Eras Tour’s stops in Brazil after sweeping North America. An image of a Swift T-shirt had been projected onto Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, and more than 60,000 fans were in attendance at the tour Friday night, according to the New York Times. But the pop icon’s visit coincided with extremely high temperatures in Brazil.

A dangerous heat wave has ripped through the country over the past week. Rio de Janeiro experienced a heat index — which measures temperature and humidity — of 138 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday morning, the highest ever recorded for the area.

Several others at the concert also fainted in the heat, according to local media reports.

Some Swift fans criticized the stadium on social media, saying that attendees were not allowed to bring water bottles inside. Time4Fun said on Instagram that the bottle ban was a “requirement made by public bodies.” Many eventgoers waited in the sun for hours before the show began.

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes responded to the incident in a statement posted to X. “The loss of a young woman’s life yesterday at the show in Engenhão is unacceptable. Obviously, we are still finding out more details about the circumstances of what happened,” he wrote in Portuguese.

New guidelines, he said, would include letting fans enter an hour earlier to keep the public out of the sun, new water distribution points, and an increase in brigade members and ambulances.

Brazil’s Justice Minister Flávio Dino said in a statement that organizers for shows with high heat exposure will be required to provide “easily accessible ‘hydration stations’” with free drinking water in the future. And concertgoers will be permitted to bring personal water bottles to events, including Swift’s performances on Saturday and Sunday at the same venue.

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