Published: 10:34, November 19, 2023 | Updated: 10:23, November 20, 2023
Taylor Swift postpones Rio de Janeiro show after fan's death
By Reuters

Taylor Swift fans wait for the doors of Nilton Santos Olympic stadium to open for her Eras Tour concert amid a heat wave in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nov 18, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO - US singer Taylor Swift postponed her show on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro due to scorching heat, the day after the death of a fan who fell ill in the sweltering concert venue.

"The decision has been made to postpone tonight's show due to the extreme temperatures in Rio," Swift wrote on Instagram about two hours before she was to go on stage. "The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to, and always will, come first."

Ana Clara Benevides, 23, became unwell at the Nilton Santos stadium during Friday's show, event organizer T4F wrote on Instagram. She died later in hospital. Her cause of death was not yet known and will be investigated, Rio's state health service said.

Swift wrote on Instagram that she had a "shattered heart" and was "devastated" by the death of Benevides, who was "incredibly beautiful and far too young."

Rio on Friday hit a record high of the heat index, which combines temperature and humidity, at 59.3 C. On Saturday, the heat index peaked at 59.7 C.

Some 60,000 fans had gathered on Friday for Swift's sell-out first concert at the open-air stadium, situated in a hotter northern neighborhood far from Rio's breezy beaches.

Swift was also scheduled to perform in Rio on Sunday, followed by three shows in São Paulo from Nov 24 to 26. T4F said Saturday's show was postponed to Monday.

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Taylor Swift fans wait for the doors of Nilton Santos Olympic stadium to open for her Eras Tour concert amid a heat wave in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nov 18, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

Swift fans outside the stadium on Saturday were suffering in the heat as they waited to access the show. As news spread of the show's postponement, many young girls burst into tears.

During Friday's concert, several fans fell ill, prompting Swift to interrupt her performance and request that the production team provide them water, videos showed.

Swift wrote on Instagram that she had a "shattered heart" and was "devastated" by the death of Benevides, who was "incredibly beautiful and far too young."

National Consumer Secretary Wadih Damous posted on X that the government had ordered T4F to guarantee water access at all of Swift's concerts in Brazil. T4F said that public bodies prohibited entering with water bottles, and that it was not involved in selling food and drink inside the stadium.

In the wake of Benevides' death, Justice Minister Flavio Dino announced that the government would issue a directive allowing water bottles to be brought into concerts.

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"Companies producing shows with high heat exposure must provide free drinking water in easily accessible 'hydration islands.' The measure is effective immediately," he added on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Heat exhaustion, which can include dizziness, headaches, shaking and thirst, is not usually serious, providing the person cools down within 30 minutes.

The more serious version is heat-stroke, when the body's core temperature goes above 40.6 C. It is a medical emergency and can lead to long-term organ damage and death.