Taylor Swift postpones scorching Rio de Janeiro show after fan’s death
RIO DE JANEIRO - US singer Taylor Swift postponed her Nov 18 show 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.”
Ms Ana Clara Benevides, 23, became unwell at the Nilton Santos stadium during the Nov 17 show, event organiser 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.
On Nov 17, Rio hit a record high of the heat index, which combines temperature and humidity, at 59.3 deg C. On Nov 18, the heat index peaked at 59.7 deg C.
Some 60,000 fans had gathered on Nov 17 for Swift’s sell-out first concert at the open-air stadium, situated in a hotter northern neighbourhood far from Rio’s breezy beaches.
She was also scheduled to perform in Rio on Nov 19, followed by three shows in Sao Paulo between Nov 24 and 26. T4F said the Nov 18 show was postponed to Nov 20.
Swift fans outside the stadium on Nov 18 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 the Nov 17 concert, several fans fell ill, prompting Swift to interrupt her performance and request that the production team provide them water, videos showed.
The American star wrote on Instagram that she had a “shattered heart” and was “devastated” by the death of Ms Benevides, who was “incredibly beautiful and far too young”.
Brazil’s 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 Ms Benevides’ death, Brazil’s Justice Minister Flavio Dino announced that the government would issue a directive allowing water bottles to be brought into concerts.
“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 deg C. It is a medical emergency and can lead to long-term organ damage and death. - REUTERS