Family of Taylor Swift Fan Who Died After Brazil Concert Calls for Investigation

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Taylor Swift (Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management) / Ana Clara Benevides Machado

(Supplied by family)

The father of a 23-year-old Taylor Swift fan who died shortly after an Eras Tour concert during an unprecedented heatwave in Rio de Janeiro says he’s “devastated” and wants promoters to be investigated after attendees said they faced “unbearable” conditions and were not allowed to bring water bottles into the stadium.

“She left home to fulfill a dream and came back dead,” Ana Clara Benevides Machado’s father Weiny Machado told Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo. He said his daughter, who was planning to graduate with a degree in psychology next year, had been “saving money” to see Swift perform.

Swift performed on Friday, Nov. 17 as temperatures in Rio soared past a hostile heat index of 120F (almost 50C), which led to the singer stopping her show midway to ask venue workers to pass out water.

“Sorry it’s just very hot. We just need to get water to them,” Swift said on stage as the crowd chanted “water.”

According to her cousin, Benevides fainted even before the show began. Officials have not yet listed a cause of death but are investigating. The organizers of the show, Time4Fun (T4F), said that Benevides was attended to at the venue and was taken to the hospital, where she died an hour later.

There were nearly 60,000 fans at the sold out show at Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos, an open-air stadium in the city center. 

“I feel this loss deeply and my heart goes out to her family and friends,” Swift posted a day later in a hand-written note shared on social media. “I’m not going to be able to speak about this from the stage because I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it.”


Taylor Swift during the show in Rio de Janeiro. GETTY IMAGES

Swift, who was supposed to perform on Saturday the 18th, postponed the show to Sunday. Videos shared by fans show the Grammy winner seemingly out of breath and drenched in sweat during that performance.

According to T4F, new measures have been put in place for fans attending shows including the “provision of free water” in certain areas of the venue. Entry for fans with sealed water bottles and food will also now be permitted. 

“I know that the singer was handing out water to her fans, and that is absurd for an event of this size. Nothing will bring my daughter back, but I hope that, if negligence is confirmed, someone will be punished, so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Benevides’ father said.


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