Lil Wayne was not allowed into the United Kingdom on Wednesday, where he was scheduled to be the headlining act at the Strawberries & Creem festival this coming weekend.
According to reports in the UK media sphere, Lil Wayne has since been replaced by fellow hip hop artist and Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris.
According to the UK Mirror, the festival is being held at Childerley Orchard in Cambridge, and Ludacris was booked at the last minute. It’s unclear if the Young Money rapper was denied entry physically by the UK’s immigration authority called the Home Office or if the festival organizers had received a denial via letter.
The Festival organizers shared a vague message to fans on Wednesday on its Instagram account.
“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 18th June.”
“Lil Wayne has been refused entry to the UK directly by the Home Office in a last minute decision,” the organizers added, “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.”
The rapper’s fans were also not happy at the news as many took to Twitter to express disappointment and some even called for the organizers to refund the concertgoers.
Meanwhile, Ludacris will join several other artists on the lineup including Tion Wayne, Mabel, Wilkinson, special guests and more on Saturday – with Tems, Knucks, David Rodigan and more on Sunday.
To appease fans, the organizers noted, “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.”
Lil Wayne’s management has not commented on the decision as yet.
On the other hand, it’s being speculated that the rapper’s criminal record might have been responsible for his denial.
According to a report by Yahoo, the Home Office released a statement on its decision.
“Any individual who has been sentenced to a custodial sentence of 12 months or more must have their application refused.”
The report added that Section 9.4.1 of the Immigration Rules, also highlights “persistent offender[s] who shows a particular disregard for the law,” and those who “committed a criminal offense, or offenses, which caused serious harm.”
Lil Wayne was previously convicted and served eight months in jail for illegal possession of a firearm in 2010. He was also arrested for the same type of offense in 2020 but was pardoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to Yahoo, prospective visitors to the UK have to show a criminal record certificate and may only be accepted if the sentence occurred less than 10 years ago.