Lil Wayne drops out of Cambridge Strawberries & Creem festival after UK border ban

Lil Wayne will not appear at the Strawberries & Creem festival in Cambridge.
Credit: PA
Lil Wayne will not appear at the Strawberries & Creem festival in Cambridge. Credit: PA

A rapper who was pardoned by Donald Trump in his final hours in office has dropped out of his first UK performance for 14 years after being banned from entering the country.

Lil Wayne will no longer headline at Strawberries & Creem festival in Cambridge after his visa application was “refused", said organisers.

The Grammy-award winning American rapper, 39, will not perform on Saturday and has instead been replaced by Ludacris.

Organisers said they were “deeply disappointed” by the “sudden and negative ruling”.

“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 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,” a statement said.

Lil Wayne performing in Sydney in 2018. Credit: PA

The hip-hop star, a convicted criminal, admitted a weapons charge in December 2020 and was facing up to 10 years in jail before Donald Trump pardoned him during 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 an anticipated UK tour in 2011 after his visa application was reportedly rejected by UK border authorities due to prior convictions in the US.

His performance at Strawberries & Creem festival, alongside Tion Wayne, Mabel and Katy B, was set to be his only European show in 2022, the festival had said previously.

The festival, which has been running since 2014, will run for three days at Childerley Orchard in Cambridge.

The rapper has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and won five Grammy awards.