Lil Wayne, who was supposed to headline Strawberries & Creem festival 2022 in Cambridge, England, this weekend, June 18-19, was denied entry into the country by the U.K.’s home office.
Promoters have already announced another U.S. rap icon as a replacement for the Saturday, June 18, headline slot: Ludacris.
When questioned about the reasons for denying Lil Wayne entry into the U.K., a home office spokesperson provided Pollstar with the following statement: “Any individual who has been sentenced to a custodial sentence of 12 months or more must have their application refused.”
The five-time Grammy Award winner Lil Wayne was sentenced to one year in jail in 2010 on weapons charges. Section 9.4.1 from Part 9 of the U.K.’s immigration rules states, “An application for entry clearance, permission to enter or permission to stay must be refused where the applicant: (a) has been convicted of a criminal offence in the U.K. or overseas for which they have received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.”
A statement from the Strawberries & Creem festival team reads, “Due to extreme circumstances beyond our control or influence, we are very sorry to inform you that Lil Wayne is now unable to perform at the festival on Saturday.
“Lil Wayne has been refused entry to the UK directly by the Home Office in a last minute decision. We are deeply disappointed by this sudden and negative ruling.
“We have received very minimal notice, and the timing of the decision is of course upsetting for all involved – including Lil Wayne’s fans, as well as the festival team.
“Across the weekend, we still have an incredible array of artists joining us. The team have all worked round the clock to secure a huge new name for Saturday too:
“We have brought in Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris to play a U.K. exclusive set on Saturday. He joins Tion Wayne, Mabel, Wilkinson, special guests and more on Saturday – with Tems, Knucks, David Rodigan and more on Sunday.
“Additionally, the team would also like to offer ticket holders a free ticket for Sunday 19th June, or a discount on tickets for next year’s festival. Ticket holders – please check your emails for details on how to claim these.
“In absence of any statement from Lil Wayne, we would like to apologise to everyone who was coming to see him perform at S&C. We look forward to welcoming the iconic Ludcacris to the stage instead.
“We can’t wait to see all of you this weekend. Love and thank you for your support as always.”