Swift shared a statement about the death on Instagram overnight. “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. I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this,” she wrote. “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 ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil.”
According to Brazilian media, Benevides hailed from the center state of Mato Grosso and was studying psychology at the Federal University of Rondonópolis. Pictures showed her at Friday’s show, smiling and wearing friendship bracelets popularized among Swift fans.
“I lost my only daughter, a happy, smart girl,” father Weiny Machado told Folha de S.Paulo. “There aren’t words to express my pain.” He said he had given her a ticket to the show so she could realize what he called her “dream.”
Videos from the concert shared on social media documented Swift stopping mid-show while audience members chanted “Water!” and asking staff to address the situation.
“It’s very hot, so when somebody says they need water … they really need it,” she said.
The death shocked many in Rio de Janeiro, which in recent days has been swept by fans from all over the country. Swifties had been energized for the record-shattering Eras Tour’s stops in Brazil after sweeping North America. To celebrate the pop star’s arrival, an image of a Swift T-shirt had been projected onto Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue saying, “Welcome to Brasil,” and more than 60,000 fans were in attendance at the tour Friday night, according to the New York Times.
But Swift’s visit coincided with a dangerous heat wave that has ripped through the country over the past week. Rio de Janeiro experienced a heat index — which measures temperature and humidity — of 138 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday morning, the highest ever recorded for the area.
Concertgoers reported a chaotic scene at the venue. Fans fell ill, complained of inadequate distribution of water and said that the show was dangerously crowded. Several at the concert fainted in the heat, according to local media reports.
Some Swift fans criticized the stadium on social media, saying that attendees were not allowed to bring water bottles inside. Time4Fun said on Instagram that the bottle ban was a “requirement made by public bodies.” Many eventgoers waited in the sun for hours before the show began.
Inside, cups of water were being sold for nearly $2, and proved difficult to obtain for many.
“It was easily the most hot I have ever felt in my life,” one concertgoer said in Brazil’s Marie Claire. “There wasn’t any air movement and it was super packed. During Taylor’s show, I noticed many people dizzy from the heat, getting sick, and friends and family member running around looking for water.”
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes responded to the incident in a statement posted to X. “The loss of a young woman’s life yesterday at the show in Engenhão is unacceptable. Obviously, we are still finding out more details about the circumstances of what happened,” he wrote in Portuguese.
New guidelines, he said, would include letting fans enter an hour earlier to keep the public out of the sun, new water distribution points and an increase in brigade members and ambulances.
Brazil’s Justice Minister Flávio Dino said in a statement that organizers for shows with high heat exposure will be required to provide “easily accessible ‘hydration stations’” with free drinking water in the future. And concertgoers will be permitted to bring personal water bottles to events.
Late Saturday afternoon, Swift posted on Instagram that she was cancelling that night’s show at the same venue.
“I’m writing this from my dressing room in the stadium,” she said. “The decision has been made to postpone tonight’s show due to the extreme temperatures in Rio. The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers and crew has to and always will come first.”
This story has been updated.