Breathless Taylor Swift footage raises fresh concerns about Brazil concerts

Breathless Taylor Swift footage raises fresh concerns about Brazil concerts
Taylor Swift appears emotional as she returns to Eras Tour stage after …
Mariana M.

Footage of Taylor Swift appearing to show her struggling to breathe has added to doubts about concertgoers’ safety in Brazil amid soaring temperatures and following a fan’s death after attending the same gig.

Swift’s concert on 17 November at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro happened in sweltering heat, with temperatures nearing 40 degrees Celsius.

The country is in the midst of an extreme heat wave that is setting daily and monthly records, causing spring temperatures to hit levels that would be unusually hot even in mid-summer.

It has triggered fires and power outages in Sao Paulo and Rio, exacerbated a drought in the Amazon and threatened crops and biodiversity elsewhere in Brazil.

Experts have warned that climate change is raising the odds and severity of heat waves in Brazil and across the world. Some have been shown to be virtually impossible without human-caused warming.

One fan at the concert on Friday, Ana Clara Benevides Machado, fell unwell and tragically died an hour after reaching hospital.

Swift said she was 'overwhelmed by grief' following the tragedy.

She said: "I can’t believe I’m writing these words but it is with shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show. I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this.

"There’s very little information I have, other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young.

"I'm not going to be able to speak about this from stage because I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it.

"I want to say now I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends. This is the last thing I thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil."

While the fan’s cause of death is not known, a clip recently posted to X/Twitter of Swift herself appearing to gasp for air while onstage has prompted yet concerns about safety amid the sweltering heat.

One person commented: "She is only 33 and in incredible physical shape. That she was struggling that much is really scary."

Another said: "She’s so professional but watching her like this, my best wishes go to her."

The singer had already stopped the concert midway through so fans could drink water, and threw bottles to the audience while she was performing.

Swift cancelled a gig the following day in Brazil because of the “extreme temperatures”.

"The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to, and always will, come first," she said.

The heat index, which combines temperature and humidity, reached 59.7C in the Brazilian city on Saturday.

Following Benevides' death, justice minister Flavio Dino said the Brazilian government would issue a directive meaning concert venues have to allow fans to bring water bottles into concerts.

"Companies producing shows with high heat exposure must provide free drinking water in easily accessible 'hydration islands'."

"The measure is effective immediately."

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