East London's Doña wins £10,000 Back to Live Music Venue Prize
Late night mezcal and live music venue is the winner for the London region.
PRS for Music, the UK-headquartered organisation that represents the rights of over 160,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers around the world, announces late night mezcal and live music venue Doña (pronounced Don-ya) as the winner of its Back to Live Music Venue Prize of £10,000 for London.
The recovery-focussed nationwide competition was launched by PRS for Music to give independent live music venues across the UK the chance to win one of six prizes of up to £10,000 and inject much-needed financial support into venues who are dedicated to improving live music experiences in their local communities. Chesterfield’s The County Music Bar (Midlands and North of England region), Carmarthen’s CWRW (pronounced koo-roo, for the Welsh region), Paisley’s The Bungalow (Scotland region), Bangor’s The Goat’s Toe (Northern Ireland) and Stroud’s The Sub Rooms (East and South of England) have been announced as winners of the prize, alongside today’s regional winner for London.
Located on Stoke Newington High Street in the London Borough of Hackney, Doña is one of few woman-owned live music venues in London. As a venue allied to the LGBTQ community, with a focus on empowered feminine energy, Doña is committed to provide a safe space in which everyone feels welcome and respected, while championing a diverse selection of musicians, performers, and promoters.
Doña founders Thea Cumming and Lucia Massey plan on using the £10,000 PRS for Music Back to Live Music Venue Prize to develop their stage area, from improving lighting and adding stage monitors for enhanced sound, to offering musicians guitar amps and a stage piano so they need not travel long distances with their own equipment. These upgrades will help facilitate a state-of-the-art live music experience for both performing artist and audience.
As a grassroots venue Doña started on a shoestring and an idea to provide space for emerging creative performers and musicians. Since we opened, we are immensely proud of the community we have around us, and the fact that we survived the Covid pandemic! Receiving this prize from PRS is not only incredibly helpful and transformative in enabling us to take a big step up in terms of our sound and light set up, but it is also hugely validating and a big honour that we feel very grateful for. Massey continues, This money will enable Doña to improve its performance space, enabling artists to make state of the art live videos in our venue whilst also elevating the space and its capabilities as a performing arts venue. Thank you PRS!
The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the live music sector has been well-documented; between 2019 and 2021, PRS for Music saw an 84% decline in the number of live performance setlists reported to the organisation, falling from 124,000 in 2019, to 19,300 in 2021.
Born of friendship and a shared love for music, Lucia and Thea have created a space for creators which celebrates femininity. Congratulations on winning the £10,000 prize for the London region.
Doña encapsulates the true meaning of joy, behind its eye-catching décor it offers East London’s musical community the opportunity to perform a variety of art forms, from open mic nights to cabaret. We look forward to seeing the improvements that the prize brings.
PRS for Music’s Back to Live Music Venue Prize competition launched in March 2022 as the organisation’s direct response to the devastating effects of the global pandemic on live music venues in the UK. Open to independent live music venues who are not part of a national brand whose offering included music prior to pandemic closures, winning venues were determined by a judging panel made up of leading representatives from across the music, arts, and hospitality sectors. Complete prize terms and conditions can be found here.
About PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the rights of over 160,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and around the world. On behalf of its members, it works diligently to grow and protect the value of their rights and ensure that creators are paid transparently and efficiently whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2021, 27 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £677.2m paid out in royalties to its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations. prsformusic.com
PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.