Taylor Swift fan died of heat exhaustion at Rio concert, tests show

Fans of US singer Taylor Swift queue outside the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium before Swift's concert, "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour", amid a heat wave in Rio de Janeiro on November 18, 2023.
Image caption,Fans tried to shield from the sun as they queued to get into the stadium in Rio

By Vanessa Buschschlüter

BBC News

A 23-year-old fan who collapsed at a Taylor Swift concert in Rio de Janeiro in November died of heat exhaustion, post-mortem examinations cited in Brazilian media suggest.

Ana Clara Benevides Machado attended the first of Swift’s Eras Tour show in the Brazilian city on 17 November.

A heat wave drove temperatures to 39C (102F), with the “felt” temperature reaching 59.3C, city authorities said.

Taylor Swift said at the time that she was “devastated” by the fan’s death.

Video footage appeared to show the singer herself struggling with the high temperatures.

The artist cancelled the show scheduled for the next day after the fan’s death, but went ahead with the remainder of the tour.

Psychology student Ana Clara Benevides Machado had travelled from the city of Rondonópolis to Rio to attend the concert.

Her friend, Daniele Menin, told G1 news site that the 23-year-old fainted during Swift’s second song.

She was treated by paramedics on site before being taken to hospital, where she died.

According to the post-mortem report, she suffered a cardiovascular shock and bleeding of the lungs, which resulted in sudden death.

Her father told local media that he had never had any doubt that Ana Clara had died as a result of the extreme heat that day.

Around 60,000 people attended the concert at the Nilton Santos stadium in the city.

Nathalia Barbieri was one of those who braved the heat to see her idol.

She told the BBC she saw Ana Clara Benevides Machado being treated by medics after she herself had been rushed to the first aid post after fainting in the extreme heat and humidity.

“I was just grateful I was alive,” Nathalia said, reflecting on the ordeal.

Nathalia and other fans criticised the organisers of the show, http://mesintik.com/ T4F, saying they had been banned from bringing in their own water bottles into the stadium.

T4F said in a statement that “thousands of cups of water were distributed” inside the stadium and that fans were allowed to “bring in disposable cups of water without any limitation”.

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