As police investigate fan death at Taylor Swift show, safety expert shares concert tips

As police investigate fan death at Taylor Swift show, safety expert shares concert tips

Experts question whether proper safety measures were taken by the Brazil tour producer of Taylor Swift’s Rio de Janeiro show where a fan died a week ago amid a heat advisory.

As Swift begins the final leg of her 2023 Eras Tour in São Paulo, Brazil, this weekend, police continue to investigate who was responsible for the death of 23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides Machado.

The Brazilian producer behind the show now says the company could have taken more precautions.

Time For Fun’s CEO Serafim Abreu released a video statement on Instagram on Thursday in Portuguese. “We recognize we could have taken some alternative actions in addition to all the others we have done,” Abreu said.

“Unfortunately for the first time in more than 40 years of operation, we had a fatality. We are absolutely devastated, very sad, with the loss of young Ana Clara, despite the prompt care and all the efforts made by the medical teams at the event and at the hospital.”

Crisis management expert calls Time For Fun’s statement ‘a big miss’

Andrea Davis, the president and CEO of the Resiliency Initiative, a global consulting company focused on crisis management and risk mitigation planning, didn’t have an inside look at the show’s planning. But she says: “It was a big miss.”

Davis has 25 years of emergency management experience and has worked with corporations such as Disney and Wal-Mart and on events including the World Cup and the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

“They should have known about the weather,” she says. “There should have been protocols for the venue. They should have made sure about the water accessibility, made sure there was plenty of water and if they ran out, had a contingency to get more. They should have had cooling stations and misters. And was the staff trained to be able to go out and see if somebody was struggling and get them to help?”

With Swift’s Eras Tour resuming in Europe next summer — where a heat wave closed the Acropolis in Greece when temperatures rose too high and where the city of Rome set up water stations to help tourists — Davis recommends that Swift’s team help keep concertgoers safe.

As police investigate fan death at Taylor Swift show, safety expert shares concert tips

“She has a lot of power,” Davis says, “pushing a little up front, making sure her attorneys ask for the emergency plans moving forward … are you having water for everyone?”

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“During a concert, this should not be the artist’s responsibility to hand out water,” she added. “But unfortunately it is because she has a brand to protect, and she genuinely cares about her concertgoers.”

Taylor Swift herself was giving out water amid extreme temperatures
Swift paused the first night of her Rio show amid extreme temperatures to make sure fans had water. She is also seen in an Instagram video grabbing a water bottle from one-side of the stage and throwing it into the crowd on the other while singing her 10-minute song “All Too Well.”

It was reported that the Rio venue didn’t allow concertgoers to bring in water bottles the first night. The Saturday show was postponed due to the heat. When the Rio shows resumed Sunday and Monday, the show producer added precautions such as firefighters spraying the crowd with water outside of the stadium and providing free water and handheld fans to concertgoers.

Davis has prepared for large-scale, international events and says there are crisis management plans for every “what-if scenario.” There typically is preparation six months in advance of shows.

“And what is that communication to guests,” she asks. “Did anyone know where they could go to get water?”

Swift has three shows left at the Allianz Parque in Brazil and resumes her tour in February 2024. Temperatures at this weekend’s shows are not expected to rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

“I also want to assure all fans attending Taylor Swift’s shows in São Paulo, that we are working to provide an exciting and memorable night,” Abreu, Time For Fun’s CEO, said.

“The entry of reflective plastic water bottles is allowed in addition to the disposable water cups that have always been released. All guidelines for the shows will be widely publicized on our networks, so that everyone can have the best experience possible.”

‘There’s people that need water’Taylor Swift pauses Eras show in Rio to help fans

How to prepare for an emergency at a concert
Davis said it’s important for concertgoers to be prepared and create emergency plans. She offers these six tips:

Come prepared: bring a portable charger, a water bottle (double check venue requirements), cash in small denominations and any necessary medication. If the concert is outside, wear sunscreen and a hat.
Go “old school”: write down important numbers and addresses in case your phone loses power. Have a number to a local cab company, because if your phone dies you will not have access to Uber/Lyft.
Be comfortable: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and wear good shoes, preferably closed toed.
Pick a meet-up spot: designate a location at the venue or nearby where you will meet up with your friends if separated.
Go on a venue scavenger hunt: know how you will evacuate, and where to find where shelter-in-place spots and first aid stations.
Be aware: notice the people around you, where the security officers and venue staff are; if something doesn’t feel right, ask for or get help.