Today marked the end of a successful North American leg for aespa‘s Synk: Hyper Line tour, but it was a bittersweet moment for fans. While the atmosphere in Mexico City was electric as always, MYs were left concerned for Ningning after she showed signs of illness on stage.
Aespa kicked off their global tour back in February this year, and since then, it seems like they’ve been on the go non-stop. Performing to 120,000 fans in South Korea and Japan from February to April, they later spent two months making waves in Indonesia and Thailand. Then, the group returned to Japan last month for an incredible performance at Tokyo Dome, selling almost 100,000 tickets across two nights alone.
But the group barely paused to catch their breath, heading over to Los Angeles, USA to begin a new leg of the tour just one week later. In the span of the past month, they’ve showcased their talents and discography in nine cities, capping things off with yesterday’s Mexico City performance. And, as if that wasn’t hectic enough, aespa also dropped their English-language single “Better Things” last month, performing the track on Good Morning America just last week.
Such a jam-packed schedule would be draining to anyone, and fans think the hectic pace might be catching up with aespa’s health. In one clip shared from Synk: Hyper Line in Mexico, fans spotted that Ningning didn’t seem to be feeling her best. Right after delivering amazing vocals in “Welcome to My World,” the star was seen wavering and holding a hand to her forehead before doubling over, seemingly coughing.
Oh no, ningning take care of yourself, get well soon 😭 pic.twitter.com/MpwLGn6fQf
— imnotddongie🙄 (@dreaminurdream) September 9, 2023
Across social media, fans have been abuzz with concern for the group and its main vocalist maknae. She’s not the first to seemingly fall ill in Mexico City; just last year, former LOONA‘s Yeojin fainted on stage, with BlockBerry Creative attributing the incident to altitude sickness.
Blockberry Creative a donné des nouvelles de #Yeojin après que la jeune femme se soit effondrée en plein concert à Mexico City.
Elle est stable et a été traitée par les médecins. Sa santé est la priorité de l'agence. pic.twitter.com/eeeyJu8uoZ
— Le Gimbap (@GimbapBlog2) August 30, 2022
The city’s lofty elevation of 7,350 feet can bring about a laundry list of symptoms, from headaches to nausea to breathing difficulties. Many people need several days to acclimatize to the high altitude, but aespa arrived in Mexico City just one day before their concert. In two days, they’re set to perform again several hours away in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Sadly, yesterday’s health concerns aren’t an isolated issue for aespa. Earlier this month, it came to light that Ningning hadn’t been able to fully participate in the shooting for the group’s “Better Things” promotional sitcom due to health issues. Last month, Giselle had to sit out of aespa’s landmark Outside Lands set due to symptoms of flu, while Winter previously missed two dates in Japan back in April while she was unwell.
Despite everything, Ningning’s stage presence in Mexico City didn’t falter, leaving fans impressed with her skills and professionalism.
ningning did so well despite not feeling well her professionalism is remarkable, really pic.twitter.com/9iZDOpSSX8
— jar (@aesPAKed) September 9, 2023
If it wasn’t for the actions that followed, fans say no one would have been able to tell that she was unwell while she was singing and dancing.
— wen | magic hour (@kchsom) September 9, 2023
Of course, this praise for Ningning is also accompanied by frustration towards SM Entertainment.
my heart hurts watching this ☹️ you’ve worked really hard, ningning! i hope you’re still getting enough rest and please always be healthy~ pic.twitter.com/jhJgOztpOV
— 🌸 (@yizhuo1st) September 9, 2023
With five more concerts left across South America and Europe, plus an appearance at SMTOWN LIVE 2023 SMCU PALACE @ JAKARTA in between, aespa’s relentless schedule has fans worried that the agency isn’t taking care of their wellbeing.
aespa’s flight schedule in the next two weeks makes me so nervous…..
cdmx – sp: 9 hours
sp- scl: 5 hours
scl – seoul: 30+ hours
seoul – jakarta: 7 hours
jakarta – berlin: 17+ hours
sm has some awful scheduling skills idk how the girls handle it I’d be so worn out
— 💙 (@katarinabluusgf) September 9, 2023
i need this tour to be over as soon as possible and i need all of their other useless ass schedules (SMTown/palace whatever) cancelled. the girls are overworked beyond capacity and they NEED TO REST. literally the only one who hasn't gotten sick, as far as we know, is Karina… https://t.co/Q0ZqYXA2vG
— KARIYONCÉ 💋⁴¹¹ (@RINAlSSANCE) September 9, 2023