The father of Ana Clara Benevides Machado, the Taylor Swift fan who died before the debut Eras Tour concert in Brazil, has broken his silence on her death.
“I lost my only daughter, a happy and intelligent girl,” Weiny Machado told local newspaper Folha de São Paulo on Saturday, November 18. “She was about to graduate in Psychology next April, saving money. I have no words to express my pain. She left home to fulfill a dream and came back dead.”
Ana Clara died at the age of 23 ahead of the Friday, November 17, concert in Rio de Janeiro. Her death was confirmed by concert organizer Time for Fun (T4F) on Saturday.
“Last night, Ana Clara felt unwell and was promptly attended to by the team of firefighters and paramedics, being taken to the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos [on-site medic] for first aid protocol,” a Saturday statement on T4F’s X (formerly Twitter) page read in Portuguese. “Given the situation, the medical team chose to transfer her to Salgado Filho Hospital, where, after almost an hour of emergency care, she unfortunately died.”
A cause of death has yet to be confirmed, with Machado telling Folha de São Paulo that he wants local officials to launch an investigation.
“I want it to be found out whether they were in fact prohibited from bringing water, whether there was negligence in providing assistance,” he said, referring to reports that the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santo did not provide water to attendees amid the record-breaking heatwave.
Machado added: “I know that the singer was handing out water to her fans, and that is absurd for an event of this size. Nothing will bring my daughter back, but I hope that, if negligence is confirmed, someone will be punished, so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else”
Swift, 33, for her part, was “devastated” by Ana Clara’s passing.
“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,” the Grammy winner wrote in an Instagram Story statement. “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.”
She continued: “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 ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil.”
During Swift’s Friday show, she paused her performance multiple times to make sure that concertgoers were given water after they started “agua” chants. She postponed her next show on Saturday amid the city’s “extreme temperatures” and is set to take the stage again on Sunday, November 19. (Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio, announced that the postponed show will take place on Monday, November 20, though Swift has not confirmed the news herself.)
Following Ana Clara’s death, T4F changed its stadium guidelines to pass out free water bottles to attendees at various distribution points. Fans can also bring in glasses of water and processed food as long as it is sealed with a lid.