Taylor Swift concert organizer apologises after Rio fan death

Organizers faced criticism after fans said they were forbidden to enter the stadium with water bottles at the concert

AFP November 25, 2023


The chief executive of the company organizing Taylor Swift's tour dates in Brazil apologized after a fan died in a searing heat wave during the pop superstar's Rio de Janeiro show. Organizers have faced criticism after fans said they were forbidden to enter the stadium with water bottles at the concert last Friday, despite a heat index that hit 59 degrees Celsius (138 Fahrenheit) in the Brazilian beach city that day.

A 23-year-old fan in the sold-out crowd of 60,000 people died. "We recognize we could have taken alternative measures in addition to all those we implemented, such as providing shade in external areas, changing the time of the concerts and emphasizing that fans could enter the stadium with disposable water cups," Serafim Abreu, head of Time For Fun, said in a video posted on social media. "I want to apologize to all those who didn't have the best possible experience," he added, sending his "most sincere condolences" to the late fan's family.

The company said emergency workers quickly treated the young woman after falling ill and then transferred to the hospital about an hour later. A preliminary autopsy found she had a lung haemorrhage and three heart attacks, according to the newspaper O Globo. Swift said Saturday she was "devastated" by the death and postponed the concert scheduled for that night to Monday.

“I can’t believe I’m writing these words, but it is with a shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show,” she wrote in a letter on her Instagram Stories. “I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this.” The Bad Blood singer, 33, said that she has “very little information” about the fan’s death “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 the stage because I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it,” she added. “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 ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil,” Swift concluded.

"We know that climate change means these episodes will be more and more frequent," Abreu said. "The entire concert industry has to rethink how it operates in the face of this new reality." Swift's Eras Tour continues this week in Brazil, with concerts scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Sao Paulo. 

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