Queer Mercury Prize nominee Self Esteem made sure cancelled ceremony’s food went to homeless

Self Esteem aka Rebecca Taylor attends the Soho House Awards at Soho House

Mercury Prize shortlisted artist Self Esteem has ensured that food from a cancelled ceremony was donated to the homeless.

The awards ceremony, which was intended to commence on Thursday (8 September), announced it had halted proceedings ahead of the Queen’s death in a tweet saying: “We know everyone involved in the Mercury Prize will understand.”

After being made aware that the event was to be postponed, musician Rebecca Lucy Taylor, known as Self Esteem, pressured organisers to deliver food to those in need in a tweet.

“DONATE THE F****NG FOOD,” she wrote a few hours after the Queen’s death was announced, adding in a further tweet that if “anyone near the Hammersmith Apollo can collect food and blast chill it please reply or DM me for more info. The other food has been hooked up with the local church.”

After a few hours of what she described as a “small amount of leads, but not many,” Taylor then updated followers with her excitement as solicitor and philanthropist Amrit S Maan offered to help out.

“Ok we did it!!” she said. “[Amrit S Maan] is picking it up and getting it in a freezer to be distributed tomorrow!!

“And thanks Twitter for the [retweets]! Everyone hit up Amrit’s restaurant in cov garden ASAP. Love you all.”

Maan replied to the tweet clarifying that the food will go to feed “hungry bellies in London’s rain-soaked streets” with the help of the volunteer-led vulnerable communities nonprofit Under One Sky.

The story quickly became a beacon of hope for the people of London and the country amid a national tragedy. People from all walks of life came together to thank both Taylor and Maan for acting on what could have been a heap of wasted food.

“You are an absolute star!” one person said. “Well done on organising this so quickly and so tremendously. A fitting example of British spirit.” Another added: “You blummin legend! Well done girl! The Mercury can wait, but either way, you’re an absolute [star].”

Other social media users questioned why Mercury Prize organisers hadn’t taken steps to donate the food after announcing the suspension of proceedings, with one user saying: “I’m astonished the organisers didn’t organise this.”

The awards show promotes and celebrates various selected UK and Irish musical artists – selected by a panel of judges – through its annual “12 Albums of the Year,” ceremony.