Taylor Swift criticised for not helping family of fan who died at concert transport body home
‘The people at the show, who put it together, are not giving us support to bring her home’
Taylor Swift has been criticised for not helping the family of Ana Clara Benevides, the fan who died at the Eras tour in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
Ana Clara Benevides, a 23-year-old Taylor Swift fan, sadly died after going into cardiac arrest before the Taylor Swift concert in Brazil. Temperatures at the concert reached 40 degrees and firefighters told local press that around 1,000 fans fainted in the heat. It has been reported that the venue banned water bottles from the concert.
But Ana’s family are struggling to pay to transport their daughter’s body back home to Portugal and people are criticising Taylor Swift and her team for not stepping in.
In an interview for Portuguese newspaper Fantástico, Ana’s parents said they have received no support from Taylor Swift following their daughter’s death.
Her mum, Adrianna Benevides said: “The people at the show, who put it together, are not giving us support to bring her home. I know that these things don’t even go through the singers, the artists don’t even know about it. But we wanted them to give us the support, to bring her home home. Because, unfortunately, we are paying for everything. And my daughter hasn’t arrived yet.”
Due to worries of not being able to afford to get her body back home, Ana’s parents started a crowdfunding page which has now reached it target thanks to donations from Taylor Swift fans.
Ana’s mum released a video, which was translated on Twitter, thanking fans for their contribution. She said: “Yesterday we started a crowdfunding asking for help. Thank God, we reached the goal this morning. We got an amount that allows us to do everything we wanted. Thank God, a lot of people have donated and I wanted God to bless all of you.”
She continued: “Today I realise how loved my daughter was. Her friends stayed here with me yesterday until four a.m. telling me their stories and my daughter’s stories and it was all joy surrounding my daughter. From my heart, thank you all.”
Adressing the situation, one tweet said: “Damn Taylor Swift is a billionaire. Ana’s parents are getting loans to afford bringing their daughter’s body back to their hometown? What the heck? It seems like they’re getting no support whatsoever. This is cruel.”
Another tweet added: “The parents of the fan who died at Taylor’s concert in Rio are struggling to pay to send their daughter’s body back home. When all parties involved are millionaires. Taylor can and should help them financially. It’s the least she can do. ”
One person on Reddit said: “Taylor is a billionaire. And the family needs help NOW. Not in 48 hours, not after a few weeks. They need help now. Thank you to the Swifites who rushed to help the family. Stop making excuses for an artist when there is a family currently grieving and in need of help.”
Addressing Ana Clara Benevides’ death in a statement on Instagram, Taylor Swift said: “I can’t believe I’m writing these words but it is with 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. There’s very little information I have, other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young.
“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.”
In an interview with Folha de S. Paulo, Ana’s dad, Weiny Machado, said: “I lost my only daughter, a happy, intelligent girl,” he said. “I have no words to express my pain. She left home to fulfil a dream and came back dead.”
He also addressed allegations that fans were prevented from taking water into the venue: “I want it to be determined whether they were in fact prohibited from bringing water, whether there was negligence in providing assistance. 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.”
Taylor Swift’s management and T4F in charge of the event have been contacted for comment.
Featured image via Mike Dunn/Shutterstock.