"I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends."
Taylor Swift is mourning a 23-year-old fan who died at her Eras concert in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on Friday (17 November).
Ana Clara Benevides, a young psychology student, fainted at the front row of Swift’s show and, according to a Los Angeles Times report, was given 40 minutes of CPR on-site before she was taken to the hospital, where she died.
Fans and government officials speculated that extreme heat contributed to Benevides’ death. The “apparent temperature” – a combination of temperature and humidity – in Rio that morning reached 59 degrees Celsius, the highest index ever recorded.
While it was 39 degrees outside, it felt much hotter in the stadium. Reports from inside the venue also state that punters weren’t offered free water, and Swift herself was handing out water bottles in the extreme weather conditions.
Taylor Swift helps fans chant “Water” in order to get security & staff to bring water to fans who were suffering of dehydration.— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 18, 2023
The stadium where the Brazilian show was held banned fans from bringing water bottles.
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taylor repeatedly telling people working the venue to give fans water and then having to do it herself while performing because they wouldn’t listen to her :( they were so negligent and this whole tragedy could’ve been prevented if they just prioritized fans’ safety. so gross. pic.twitter.com/G4I4D1VT43— jayde 🎧 (@mirrorballboobs) November 18, 2023
the fact that TAYLOR SWIFT had to hand out water bottles because the security weren't????????????? brazilian swifies i am so sorry and angry for you pic.twitter.com/YSS9l8znyA— zoe (@wastethezoe) November 18, 2023
Following Benevides’ passing, Swift postponed her second Eras concert in Brazil due to the extreme heat.
“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,” Swift wrote in a handwritten note posted to her Instagram Stories.
Despite Swift’s statement of Benevides passing before her show, Benevides’ friends told local media that she began getting sick after the concert started.
Swift continued, “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.”
I can’t believe that more people aren’t talking about last night. So sad. The young lady was only 23 years old. The stadium in Brazil didn’t allow anyone to take water. Taylor was throwing water bottles to the fans. She canceled tonight’s show. She did the thing. @taylorswift13 pic.twitter.com/Yvly96zypx— Former Future Astros Host Mom (@HooksHostMom) November 18, 2023
Following Benevides’ passing, Swift fans started a petition to create a law providing free water access at concert venues in Brazil. The petition received over 200,000 signatures in less than a day. Now, venues in Brazil will be required to provide free drinking water when shows have “high heat exposure”, Flávio Dino, Brazil’s Minister of Justice, tweeted on the weekend.
Taylor Swift will take the Eras Tour down under in February 2024 with special guest Sabrina Carpenter.
Swift will perform three nights at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and four nights at Sydney’s Accor Stadium. She is poised to break records at both venues.