Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour runs into trouble in Brazil

Taylor Swift was welcomed to Brazil on Thursday by a screening that made the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro appear as if it were wearing a T-shirt similar to the one she wore in her film “You Belong to Me.” music video and was decorated with symbols from her songs.

But that warm welcome was followed by tragedies and problems.

A fan died in the sweltering heat during Friday night’s show in Rio de Janeiro. At the last moment, Ms. Swift postponed her Saturday show until Monday, to the dismay of thousands of fans who had already begun filling the stadium. Military police said a fan who was in Rio de Janeiro for Sunday’s regularly scheduled concert was stabbed to death early that morning.

The fatality and other problems represented a departure from the triumphant first leg of Ms. Swift’s Eras Tour, a career-spanning production that broke records in North America. As the tour’s second show approached in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night, fans faced ruined travel plans, extreme heat and disappointment.

Anne Di Motta, 30, a psychologist in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was due to attend the Saturday night show and said she would return home before the rescheduled concert on Monday because she had to work.

“I have spent the last 17 years waiting for the opportunity to leave, to fulfill my teenage dream of meeting someone I knew from his first single,” Ms. Di Motta said. “And sitting in a chair for three hours, completely drenched in sweat, having to overcome several personal challenges to be there completely alone, to get the news that it had been canceled – it was completely devastating.”

Saturday night’s show was postponed because of extreme temperatures, Ms. Swift said in an Instagram post hours before the concert was due to begin at an outdoor soccer stadium. “The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow artists and crew must and will always come first,” she said.

By then, thousands of fans had turned out to see Ms. Swift, enduring the peak heat of the day, which reached 93 degrees Fahrenheit, or 33 degrees Celsius, before they were asked to leave the venue.

A representative for Ms. Swift did not immediately respond to emailed questions about the postponement of Saturday’s show.

The Rio shows came after Swift performed in Argentina, the Eras Tour’s first stop outside North America. She had to move a show to Buenos Aires due to the heat. She is scheduled to perform in Sao Paulo on November 24, 25 and 26, before traveling next year to cities in South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

Julia Alvarenga, a social media influencer, was in the stadium when the concert was postponed and said in a video widely shared online who had arrived for the show at 11 in the morning. “Taylor Swift, I’m wearing a geriatric diaper that doesn’t even close,” Ms. Alvarenga said.

“I bought water, I bought a fan, everyone is crying, screaming, so you show up on this stage!” Ms. Alvarenga said.

Gabriela Werner, 24, a marketing analyst, bought tickets to every show in Rio and two in Sao Paulo, and said she began preparing for the heat three months ago by working out in an unair-conditioned gym in the middle of the day. She lives in Porto Alegre, about 700 miles southwest of Rio.

As she waited in line for Sunday night’s concert, Ms. Werner said the atmosphere was much quieter than that of Friday’s show. “It’s not that hot and everyone is holding back because of the previous nights and everything that happened,” she said.

He didn’t expect Ms. Swift to return to Brazil. “I’m sure she’s traumatized,” Ms. Werner said.

Ms. Werner, like many other fans, blamed the problems on the Brazilian company that organized the show, Time for Fun. Wadih Damous, the head of Brazil’s consumer protection agency, said the government would investigate Time for Fun. The company said Saturday it will add staff, provide free water and allow fans into the stadium with water and food.

As the crowd left the stadium Saturday evening, there were reports of disturbances near the venue, police said.

After Matheus Duarte, 24, a warehouse worker, left the stadium and went to a nearby shopping mall, he saw people screaming that there had been a break-in.

“I don’t really know if it really happened, but I saw desperate people running,” Duarte said. “And as soon as I saw him, I started running and hid in a parking lot.”

On Sunday, military police said there had been no reports of robberies or muggings the night before. But ahead of Sunday’s concert, a concert fan in Rio de Janeiro was stabbed to death after an attempted robbery at Copacabana, the popular beach, military police said. Two men had been arrested, they said. The fan, Gabriel Mongenot Santana Milhomem Santos, was with friends when he was stabbed, civil police said.

During Friday’s show, Ana Clara Benevides, 23, died after losing consciousness, officials said. She was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest after being taken to hospital, according to city authorities and the Brazilian company that organized Ms. Swift’s show, Time for Fun.

Ms. Benevides, a psychology student, had traveled from Rondonópolis, which is about 880 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, for the concert, O Globo reported it. Her friend Emiliane Félix, 22, told O Globo that Ms Benevides had been sending her friends photos of her concert outfits “for more than a month”.

On X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Ms. Benevides shared her excitement about the concert, writing on November 7 “I don’t know what my purpose in life will be after seeing Taylor.”

Fans at Friday’s concert complained about lack of water and extreme heat. The heat index, a measure of how hot the air is due to humidity, reached 139 degrees Fahrenheit, a record for Rio.

In an online post, Ms Swift said she was “devastated” by her fan’s death. “I won’t be able to talk about this from the stage because I feel overwhelmed with resentment even when I try to talk about it,” she said.

Luiza Guimarães, 33, an economist said she was disappointed that it took so long for Saturday’s show to be canceled because some fans were already unsure whether it would go on after Ms. Benevides’ death and were worry about the heat. “Really, the production of the show was very reckless and everything was handled very poorly,” she said.

Ms. Guimarães said she does not blame Ms. Swift for the problems and that she thinks the musician should be “very, very discouraged.”

Jack Nicas contributed a report from Buenos Aires.