Lil Wayne will no longer headline the Strawberries & Creem festival in Cambridge after he was banned from entering the UK at the last minute, event organizers have said.
The 39-year-old Grammy-winning American rapper will not perform on Saturday in what was believed to be his first show in the UK in 14 years after his visa application was refused.
Announcing the change of composition on Wednesday evening, which will instead see Ludacris headlining, the organizers said they were “deeply disappointed” by this “sudden and negative decision”.
“Due to extreme circumstances beyond our control or influence, we are sorry to inform you that Lil Wayne can no longer perform at the festival on Saturday June 18th.
“Lil Wayne was refused entry to the UK directly by the Home Office in a last minute decision.
“We received very minimal notice, and the timing of the decision is of course heartbreaking for everyone involved, including Lil Wayne fans, as well as the festival team,” a statement read.
The hip-hop star, a convicted felon, admitted a weapons charge in December 2020 and faced up to 10 years in prison before Donald Trump pardoned him in his final hours as president.
In a statement on Wednesday, the UK Home Office said: “Any individual who has been sentenced to a custodial sentence of 12 months or more must have their application refused.”
Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, was previously forced to cancel a planned UK tour in 2011 after his visa application was reportedly rejected by UK border authorities due to previous convictions in the US.
Her performance at the Strawberries & Creem festival, alongside Tion Wayne, Mabel and Katy B, was to be her only European show of 2022, the festival previously announced.
The festival, which has been running since 2014, will take place over three days at Childerley Orchard in Cambridge.
The rapper has sold over 20 million albums worldwide and won five Grammy Awards.