Glastonbury Festival radio station breached broadcasting rules with song's 'offensive language'
Glastonbury’s on-site radio station breached broadcasting rules when it aired a song by rapper Little Simz featuring offensive language, the broadcasting watchdog has found.
Worthy FM, whose presenters and producers are all volunteers, played the track Miss Understood shortly before 7pm on Thursday 23 June.
Ofcom said it had received a complaint about the use of offensive language in the song, which features racist and homophobic slurs.
During its assessment of the programme, it discovered the song DNA by Kendrick Lamar had been played, also containing offensive language.
The watchdog said the station had breached three rules relating to the broadcast of the most offensive kind of language when children were likely to be listening.
Worthy FM’s station manager and licensee, Joanne Schofield, apologised that the track was broadcast and that someone was offended by it.
She accepted that "A mistake was made in playing a non-edited version” of the track and said the station was "strengthening their compliance controls” in light of the incident.
At this year’s Glastonbury, Little Simz, 28, headlined the West Holts stage with a performance that was widely praised. Presenters had wanted to promote the slot.
However, when they ran a search on their computer system this “unfortunately searched beyond the playlist itself and returned a result from the noncompliant folder,” they said.
Worthy FM’s computer system will now only feature music that has been approved to be played on air and will not be connected to the internet, among other changes.
Ms Schofield also noted the programme had not been aimed at younger people and at the time of broadcast “listener numbers were demonstrably low”.
British rapper and singer Little Simz, real name Simbiatu Ajikawo, won the prestigious Mercury Prize this year for her fourth album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert.
She was also named Best New Artist at the Brit Awards and was singled out by Adele, who sent her “massive congratulations”.
Glastonbury Festival and Little Simz have been contacted for comment.