On Friday (17 November), the “Anti-Hero” singer, 33, performed the first show of what was supposed to be a three-day stretch of concerts at the Nilton Santos stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Swift later postponed her Saturday show to Monday (20 November) due to extreme temperatures after 23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides died after falling ill at the show.
Since Benevide’s death, which has been linked to extreme temperatures inside the venue amid the country’s heatwave – temperatures reportedly rose to 140F (60C) – concertgoers have shared claims about the “inhumane” conditions inside the venue.
The Independent has contacted the show’s organisers, T4F; Taylor Swift and Nilton Santos Stadium for comment.
Among the biggest claims that have surfaced has been that the venue wouldn’t allow fans to bring their own water bottles inside, despite the sweltering temperatures.
In a recent interview with Brazilian newspaper Folha de S Paulo, Benevide’s father called for an investigation into his daughter’s death, asking the show’s organisers to confirm whether concertgoers were banned from bringing water bottles inside.
Other claims shared on Twitter/X say that the venue closed its vents to prevent outsiders from seeing in; the stadium’s turf had been covered with a metallic surface, allegedly leaving at least one fan with burns on her legs after she fell; concert staff ran out of complimentary water leaving certain sections without water; and the stage’s flame machines continued to spew out fire despite the heat.
Taylor Swift helps fans chant “Water” in order to get security & staff to bring water to fans who were suffering of dehydration.
The stadium where the Brazilian show was held banned fans from bringing water bottles.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 18, 2023
During the show, Swift was seen repeatedly handing out water to fans near the stage.
The show’s organisers T4F confirmed Benevides’s death in a statement shared on X/Twitter on Saturday, expressing their “sincere condolences” to her loved ones.
The office of Rio’s public prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation and said Benevides’ body was being examined.
Following the news of Benevide’s death, Swift posted an emotional tribute herself, saying that she was “overwhelmed by grief”.
“This is the last thing I ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil,” the Grammy-winning artist wrote on Instagram.
In addition to Benevide’s tragic passing, Folha also reported that firefighters counted 1,000 faintings inside the venue on the night of Swift’s show, according to unofficial figures.
T4F has since announced that it would be providing water stations at the Nilton Santos stadium for the duration of Swift’s concerts and that fans would be allowed to bring in sealed water containers. They also said that they have employed an extra 200 staffers to join the already 1,230 professionals working the event.