What was supposed to be the concert of a lifetime for a young psychology student from Brazil ended with a tragedy, as 23-year-old Swiftie Ana Benevides, unfortunately died shortly after the start of the pop star’s set last Friday, November 17, 2023, at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos. Her father has called for clarification on the cause and circumstances of the death of his only daughter.
At the time of the death, Brazil had been experiencing abnormal heat at around 59.3 degrees Celsius, and several local news outlets have stated that the concert’s organizer and promoter denied access to food and water into the venue, citing them as a ‘security risk’ for the audience and performers.
According to Brazil’s local newspaper ‘O Globo,’ a preliminary autopsy found she had a lung hemorrhage and three heart attacks. Prior to succumbing to the heat, Ana had been seen posting on her WhatsApp and other social media about how she was feeling before fainting. She was then taken to the paramedics within the venue and transferred to Salgado Filho Hospital, where she was pronounced dead an hour after her arrival despite several resuscitation attempts.
Days after the confirmation of Ana’s death, her father, Weiny Machado, broke his silence on the death of his daughter, seeking an explanation from the organizers, Time For Fun (T4F), as they are the ones who confirmed the death to the public in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), written in Portuguese.
— T4F (@t4f) November 18, 2023
The 53-year-old has come on to the Brazilian Newspaper, Folha De S. Paulo to ask for clarification on whether fans were prohibited from bringing water into Friday’s show. “I want to know if it’s true that they are prohibited from bringing water and neglected to provide assistance,” he told the outlet. “I lost my only daughter, a happy and intelligent girl.”
As for the main performer, Taylor Swift chose to postpone the remainder of her show during her first performance in Rio de Janeiro. She took to her Instagram story to announce the cancellation and express her grief on the situation the next day, Saturday, November 18th.
Throughout the rest of the performance, fans were seen chanting ‘water’ repeatedly. This prompted Taylor to assist in distributing water to fans near the stage at the start of the performance and actively ask staff to continue distributing water throughout the stadium.
📹 | During the show Taylor helped fans get water due to the extreme heat
— Taylor Swift Updates (@TSwiftLA) November 18, 2023
In the aftermath of the death, a group of Swifties launched an online petition on Change.org on November 18, 2023, demanding to ‘make water in events mandatory’ in large venues and performances. The petition gained more than 150,000 signatures in a few hours, urging T4F to lift the ban on bringing water bottles. In light of the ‘unprecedented’ heat wave, they began setting up water stations for the next show; however, it was postponed by the pop star as a means to process the event.
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