S&C Productions has been forced to remove Lil Wayne from the Strawberries & Creem festival lineup after the US rapper was refused entry to the UK in a “last-minute decision” by the Home Office, the promoter said.

Lil Wayne, who was due to perform on the Saturday, has been replaced by fellow US rapper Ludacris. He joins artists such as Tion Wayne, Mabel and Wilkinson at the 10,000-capacity festival, which takes place from 17-19 June at Childerley Orchard in Cambridge.

Lil Wayne, who has not performed in the UK in 14 years, had his 2011 UK tour cancelled after his visa application was reportedly rejected by UK border authorities due to prior convictions.

In a statement 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.”

S&C Productions said, “We are deeply disappointed by the 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 name for Saturday too.”

S&C Productions said it would offer ticket holders a free ticket for Sunday, or a discount on tickets for next year’s festival: “In absence of any statement from Lil Wayne, we would like to apologise to everyone who was coming to see him perform. We look forward to welcoming Ludacris to S&C instead.”