London festival

Lil Wayne Banned From UK, London Festival Appearance Canceled

Lil Wayne hasn’t played in the UK since his visa application was rejected in 2011. (Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

Lil Wayne will not perform at London’s Strawberries & Creem festival on Saturday after organizers said the Home Office banned him from entering the country as a “last minute decision”.

Wayne was due to headline the London festival, playing his first show in the country in over a decade. However, Strawberries and Creem announced on Wednesday that they had been forced to remove him from training.

“Lil Wayne has been refused entry to the UK directly by the Home Office in a last minute decision,” a statement on the festival’s website read. “We are deeply disappointed with this sudden and negative 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 team at the festival.”

The reason for the Home Office’s decision was not immediately available, and The Times reached out to Lil Wayne’s team for comment.

In an attempt to appease fans, the festival brought in Ludacris to replace Lil Wayne on Saturday night. The festival will also offer Saturday ticket holders free entry to the Sunday slate (headlined by Tems) or a discount on tickets to next year’s festival.

“Throughout the weekend, we still have an incredible number of artists joining us,” the team said. Other guests to perform include Mabel, Tion Wayne and Knucks.

Wayne has yet to release a statement on the late change. His withdrawal from the lineup comes less than a week after he was asked to replace the Migos at the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York, but had to pull out just before the event, citing “flight disruptions”.

In 2011, Lil Wayne’s UK visa application was rejected, forcing him to cancel his European tour dates in the region. British immigration officials had cited his criminal history, as he was released from prison in November 2010 after serving eight months on a firearms charge.

In November 2020, he was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, although he was pardoned by former President Trump in 2021.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.