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Taylor Swift Postpones Rio Concert Amid Safety Concerns Following Fan’s Death

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Taylor Swift took to social media on Saturday evening to announce that she was postponing her Rio concert, amid exceedingly high temperatures and concerns over safety. The statement came one night after a fan, 23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides Machado, died before the singer’s Eras concert show at Nilton Santos Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

“I’m writing this from my dressing room in the stadium. The decision has been made to postpone tonight’s show due to the extreme temperatures in Rio,” Swift said, in a post shared via Instagram stories. “The safety and wellbeing of my fans, fellow performers and crew has to, and always will, come first.”

The temperatures in Rio remain a cause for concern, and complaints have been raised about the conditions at the concert venue.

On Friday, temperatures reached 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit in Rio, as eager Swift fans descended upon the stadium to witness the South American leg of the singer’s critically-acclaimed Eras Tour.

Among the crowd was Benevides Machado, who reportedly sought assistance at the concert venue, ahead of the show starting, as she was feeling unwell. Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reports that Benevides Machado was then taken to the Hospital Salgado Filho, where she died. The publication notes that the cause of death was a cardiorespiratory arrest. However, the cause of death has yet to be officially confirmed.

Other concert attendees have since complained about the conditions at the venue. They said they were unable to bring their own water into the concert and struggled to gain access to water once in there. 

Video footage from Friday’s concert, which saw Swift perform to a 60,000-strong crowd, shows the singer stopping the show momentarily so that water can be distributed to fans calling out for it. “If somebody says they need water when it’s this hot, they really need it,” Swift can be heard saying. Meanwhile, some fans started to chant for “agua.” In another moment from the gig, Swift can be seen throwing a bottle of water into the crowd herself.

Following news of Benevides Machado’s death, government officials have criticized the reported conditions at the concert, organized by the Time for Fun events company. On Nov. 18, ahead of Swift’s announcement that her next show would be postponed, Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes spoke out on X (formerly Twitter).

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 any case, I have already ordered the municipality's Executive Chief of Operations to demand action with the production of the show.” 

Paes went on to list a number of measures that he anticipated should be put in place: quicker entry into the concert for fans “to keep the public out of the sun,” along with “new water distribution points,” and an increase in on-site ambulances and “brigade members.”

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Brazil’s National Consumer Secretary, Wadih Damous, also spoke out following Benevides Machado’s death. In a series of posts on X, he outlined guidelines that should be followed in the future, to avoid any such event happening again. “In addition to the distribution of free water, through ‘hydration islands,’ which are easily accessible and visible to the public, bottles will be allowed for personal use,” he wrote.

This was echoed by Justice Minister Flávio Dino, who said that “the Consumer Secretariat of the Ministry of Justice will adopt immediate measures” about “access to water at shows and other public events.”

It is understood that the government will be further investigating the events that took place at the Friday concert.

Ahead of Saturday’s gig being postponed, event organizers Time for Fun stated that “sealed water cups” would be allowed into the venue.

Meanwhile, Swift has expressed her grief over the loss of a fan. Following the announcement of Benevides Machado’s death on Friday, the singer posted a statement to her Instagram stories, noting she was “devastated.”

“I want to say now, I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends," she wrote. "This is the last thing I ever thought would happen when we brought this tour to Brazil.”

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Write to Olivia-Anne Cleary at olivia-anne.cleary@time.com