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Tragedy Strikes at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour

Taylor Swift Meets with Ana Clara Benevides' Family
Taylor Swift gives condolences to Ana Clara’s family after her unexpected passing.

A 23-year-old woman, Ana Clara Machado, passed away from cardiorespiratory arrest after fainting at Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour on November 17th at Nilton Santo Stadium. Ana was a VIP ticket holder looking forward to seeing Taylor’s record-breaking performance. Ana’s friend told reporters Ana ecstatically “jumped, sang, and cried” when she saw Taylor perform.


Brazil was experiencing record-breaking heat the week of Swift’s concert. The heat index inside the stadium reportedly reached 138 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside the stadium, the ground in the VIP section was lined with metal sheets, burning fans who tried to sit on them. Rather than having floor seats like in the United States, the entire floor was general admission, creating a large, dense, pit of fans. The final straw was the policy of Nilton Santos Stadium, which prohibited fans from bringing food and water into the stadium.

Cups of water were being sold for two dollars inside the stadium, however, most fans on the floor were in crowds too dense to reach vendors. At one point Taylor stopped the show to get water to the dehydrated fans, throwing water bottles into the crowd and having her team pass out cups on the floor.

Ana fainted in the middle of “Cruel Summer” and was taken to the nearest hospital, where she passed from cardiorespiratory arrest, (when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, preventing normal breathing). The fatality rate of cardiac arrest is 60-80 percent, according to the CDC. This was the only death reported from the show, however, reports say that over 1,000 fans had fainted from the extreme heat during Taylor’s performance. When experiencing extreme temperatures, the number of fatalities from cardiac issues nearly doubles. 

Videos of Taylor struggling to breathe during her performance have surfaced, along with her leaving the stadium with a towel over her head. She canceled the show for the following night as the heat wave continued, stating the safety of her team and fans would always come first. 

Following Ana’s death, Nilton Santos Stadium announced new rules for upcoming shows, allowing fans to bring food and water into the stadium. Time4Fun, the entertainment company at the show, could be facing 2.6 million dollars in fines and a police investigation for endangering the lives of fans and performers. The agency was not hired by Taylor or affiliated with her in any way and all parties have agreed Taylor was not to blame for the tragedy. Time4Fun continues to defend its choices on social media platforms but will likely be held accountable for Ana’s death.

Taylor gave her condolences to Ana’s family and invited them to meet her at an upcoming show, where she emotionally performed “Bigger Than The Whole Sky”. She has also donated money to Ana’s family, and many fans believe Taylor will offer additional financial support for funeral costs.

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Angie Shiller, Writer
I’m a sophomore at Brien McMahon. I also play field hockey and lacrosse, and write for the sports section.

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