A fan of US singer Taylor Swift cools off with a hose as others queue outside the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium before Swift's concert, "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour", amid a heat wave in Rio de Janeiro on Nov 18, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
RIO DE JANEIRO - Taylor Swift fans headed to her eagerly expected show in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, following a last-minute postponement of Saturday’s performance due to record breaking heat after a fan died in the sweltering conditions a day earlier.
Temperatures were significantly lower on Sunday following two days of record-breaking heat in Brazil’s second-largest city. Fans outside the Nilton Santos stadium were hopeful Sunday's show would go on as planned.
"There was the cancellation yesterday, I was a bit apprehensive about today, but I hope everything goes well. Today is not hot, it's cool. The expectation is high for everything to go well," said Iasmin Moreira Oliveira, in front of vendors hawking umbrellas and raincoats to protect from expected rain.
On the first night of Swift’s The Eras Tour in Rio on Friday, 23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides fell ill and later died in the hospital.
A Taylor Swift's fan waits for the doors of Nilton Santos Olympic stadium to open for her Eras Tour concert amid a heat wave in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Nov 18, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
The tragedy led the federal government to order event organizer T4F to ensure water access at all of Swift's concerts in Brazil and issue a directive allowing water bottles to be brought into all concerts from now on.
T4F on Saturday said it would enhance its action plan for the event, particularly focusing on providing free water at queues and all stadium entrances and exits, allowing entry with sealed water cups, flexible plastic bottles, and sealed processed foods.
Saturday’s postponement, which Swift announced just two hours before she was to go on stage, angered many fans who had already made the journey to the stadium, some from different states and countries.
"There were people crying, people throwing tantrums, hoping it was all a lie, in short, it was terrible," said student Victor Guimaraes, who was waiting in line again on Sunday to watch the singer's performance.
Taylor Swift fans wait for the doors of Nilton Santos Olympic stadium to open for her Eras Tour concert amid a heat wave in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Nov 18, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
In the face of scorching temperatures, Brazilian fan club Update Swift Brasil reached out to major water companies seeking donations to alleviate the conditions on site. Fans were met with a positive response from Minalba Brasil, which distributed water bottles for free in the stadium area on Sunday.
"It was a donation from the company, moved by the events of the previous day and the heat wave," said Christina Larroude, marketing director of Minalba, adding that the initiative will be repeated at Monday's show, with a total delivery of 65 thousand water bottles.
Swift's Monday performance in Rio will replace Saturday's postponed show, and the singer is still scheduled to perform in Sao Paulo from Nov 24 to 26.
Intense heat waves, attributed to the El Nino phenomenon and global temperature rises, have gripped multiple Brazilian states, with temperatures surpassing historical averages since July, according to the National Institute of Meteorology.
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