A Taylor Swift concert set to take place in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday was called off at the eleventh hour after a fan died at her show the day before amid sweltering heatwave conditions in the South American country.
The postponement of Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ gig comes as Brazil faces record-breaking temperatures in its eighth heatwave of the year, a whole month before the official start of summer in the southern hemisphere. Inmet, the country’s national meteorological institute, had warned of potential risks to life as temperatures hovered five degrees Celsius above the average for more than five consecutive days.
The warning came as the region recorded a heat index, which combines temperature and humidity, of 59.3 degrees Celsius on Friday (138.7F). On Saturday, it was 59.7 degrees Celsius (139.5F).
The extreme conditions are thought to have contributed to the death of Ana Clara Benecides Machado, a 23-year-old Taylor Swift fan, who collapsed in the Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos arena on Friday. Health officials said that Machado died after suffering cardiorespiratory arrest and that an investigation has been launched to determine the precise causes.
Thousands of concertgoers in the 60,000-capacity arena were also treated for symptoms of dehydration on Friday, reports say.
“I’m writing this from my dressing room in the stadium,” Swift posted to social media as she announced that Saturday’s show was off shortly before it was due to begin. “The decision has been made to postpone tonight’s show due to extreme temperatures in Rio.”
Addressing the death of Machado in an earlier statement, Swift said that she was “overwhelmed by grief” and that her “broken heart goes out to her family and friends.” Videos circulating on social media of Swift’s performance on Friday show her urging stewards to distribute water to fans. Another clip shows the 33-year-old pop star appearing to struggle to breathe in the conditions.
Brazil’s justice minister, Flavio Dino, addressed the situation on Saturday, writing on X (formerly Twitter) that attendees must be allowed to bring their water supplies into the venue. “It is unacceptable that people suffer, faint, and even die due to lack of access to water,” he said.
Swift’s fans criticized the move to call off Saturday’s concert about two hours before showtime. “Postponing a show when the stadium is practically full will not go down well,” one fan wrote on Reddit as news of the postponement broke. “Her team failed today, not by postponing the show, but by taking so long to report.”