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Here you will find up to date information about what's going on in the WCS Berkeley Chapter.  It's easy to find who to contact, where to go and when it's all happening!  If you need to reach us, please follow the link below to email the Berkeley Managers.

Please make sure that you membership is current.  Non-members are ineligible to win.   RENEW MY MEMBERSHIP


Freight and Salvage (2020 Addison Street, 510-644-2020)
Admission $9.00 ($7.00 advance, before doors open)
Doors open 7PM, Sign-up 7PM, Performance begins 7:30PM

There are 2 winners of the Songwriting Competition each month, Best Song and Best Performance. Best Song of the Month wins 3 hours of studio time from our sponsor BEN LEINBACH’S OLD BULL STUDIO ( and an invitation to compete in the Playoffs for Best Song of the Year and a chance to compete in the Finals. Best Performance of the Month wins 3 hours of studio time from the renowned KEVIN HARRIS MUSIC PRODUCTION (
To enter the annual Lyric Contest, bring an extra copy of your lyrics with name, contact information and event date. Give the lyric sheet to the chapter manager at sign-up and check L/C box on sign-up sheet. You must be a current WCS member to be eligible to compete and you must perform your song at the event. First, second and third place winners will be announced annually, not monthly. First place winner will receive production of their winning song from our generous sponsor GAWAIN MATHEWS STUDIO ( and be invited to perform as a non-competing guest at the Berkeley Playoffs.

Sign-up on a first-come basis, maximum 20 songs, get there early if you want to perform. Most members arrive before 7, buy discount tickets at the box office, then line up for sign-up. Show your WCS membership card at sign-up. Join or renew membership in person and admission fee is waived. Only WCS members are eligible to compete, but non-members can sign-up at 7:25 if room available. If you want to give lyrics to the judges (optional), you can also give them to the the chapter manager at sign-up. If you received this email, you are on the Berkeley chapter email list (not the same as WCS email list) and you don’t have to enter your email address on the sign-up sheet.

Peer judged. Most months there is a panel of music industry judges, but once or twice a year no one is available. When this happens, the event is peer judged. The songwriters who are performing choose the winners of Best Song and Best Performance. To participate in peer judging, a performer must attend the entire event.
The upcoming 2014-2015 season is the 25th anniversary of WCS at the Freight & Salvage!!! Make sure you come out for this historic season.

If you have any questions, visit our Chapter’s webpage to see more See you Monday,

Nomi Yah, West Coast Songwriters, Berkeley Chapter

FAQ about the Berkeley Chapter

Q: Where does the Berkeley Chapter event occur?

A: Freight and Salvage (2020 Addison Street, Berkeley) 510-644-2020

Admission $9 ($7 advance, before doors open)

Doors open 7:00. Sign-up 7:00 to 7:30. Performance 7:30 Sign-up is on a first-come basis, maximum is 20 songs per night. Get there early if you want to perform. Most members arrive before 7, buy discounted tickets at the box office, and then line up to sign-up. Show your card when you sign-up. Audience is welcome, let your fans know about the event. Only WCS members are eligible to compete, but non-members can sign-up at 7:25 if there is room available. If you join WCS in person the night of the competition, your admission fee is waived.

Q:I am a teenager who is interested in joining and I just wanted to verify that the cost is $40 per year.

A: Membership for those under 21-years-of age is $40. Make sure you bring your ID when you sign up in person.

Q: How much does it cost to join WCS?

A: Annual membership dues are $90-Regular, $119-Band, $150-Contributor, $40-Under 21.

Q:I have written a song I would like to perform, but would like to have my friend play the guitar while I sing it. I am a WCS member, but my friend is not. Am I still eligible to compete?

A: As long as the song is written by a WCS member, and the writer is present at the event, anyone can perform it. The song will be eligible to compete for Best Song of the Month and in the Playoffs, but will not be eligible for Best Performance of the Month.

Q:I joined WCS at another chapter and paid the dues. Can I participate in the Berkeley chapter songwriting session tonight??

A: You are able to participate in any chapter event. Please bring your membership card with you. If you have not yet received your card, please email Ian directly and ask for a copy of your membership confirmation. Print it out and bring to the event.

Q: Can I perform if I am not a member of WCS?

A; There is a maximum of 20 songs per competition and WCS members have priority. If there is room on the list at 7:25, non-members can sign-up to perform but are not eligible to compete

Q: Do WCS members have to pay admission at the venues?

Entrace fees are $9 at the door and $7 advance, same price for performers and audience.

Q: I see that the admission is $2 less if paid in advance.How can I pay the admission in advance?

A: In order to pay in advance means before the doors open at 7. Advance tickets can be purchased from the box office or online.

Q: I love to hear songwriters perform. Is the monthly competition open to the public?

A: Anyone can attend the event.

Q: I wanted to verify if there is an event soon?

A: Check the West Coast Songwriters events calendar for updated information.. The info is also on the calendar at Freight and Salvage.

Q: How early should I get there to ensure I am eligible to perform stage?  

A: Signup is from 7 to 7:30pm, with a 20-song maximum. It's on a first-come basis, so get there early if you want to perform.

Q: How many songs can I sing at a competition?

A: Our limit is 20 songs per night. If less than 10 people sign-up, you can sing 2 songs.( However, this almost never happens in Berkeley, usuallyit is just 1 song per person).

Q: Last week I won the competition for best song in San Rafael. Can I sing the same song in Berkeley, or do I need to bring a new song?

A: You can sing the same song or another, it's up to you. Each song is eligible to win once a season in each venue.

Q: I already won Best Song in Berkeley this season. Can I still perform in Berkeley or do I have to go to another venue until next season?

A: You can still perform in Berkeley even if you won. You can win twice a season with different songs. You can perform the same song that already won, but you will not be eligible to compete.

Q: Is there a piano or keyboard already provided there?

A: Yes, there is a grand piano at the Freight.

Q: Just wondering who the judges are?

A: The names of the judges and all other info is emailed every month to the Berkeley Mailing List and often posted on the chapter page on the website.

Q: May I ask who are the judges for the next event

A: It is best to be on the mailing list as the Chapter Manager will send out the information. Please check your spam folder!.

Q: How can I get emails about the event?

A: Berkeley chapter has our own email list, separate from the main WCS email list. We send out 1 email a month, a few days before our event. To get on Berkeley's email list, make sure your email address is on the sign-up sheet., so make sure you are getting emails from

Songwriting Competitions:

  • Held the third Monday of every month
  • Competitions run from October - June
  • The PLAYOFFS are held in July
  • Playoff Winner has the opportunity to perform at the WCS Grand Finals held in late August 
  • Grand Final Winner has the opportunity to perform at the WCS Annual Music Conference (2nd weekend of September) in front of a house full of industry leaders, friends and family.
  • SIGN-UP: 7pm–7:30pm; event begins at 7:30pm.
  • $9 walk up and $7 in advance. 
  • Non-Members may only sign up if there is room after all members have signed up (Please note: Non Members are inelligible to win prizes)
  • Sponsored by: Noisy Planet, Ben Leinbach's Old Bull Studios in San Anselmo and Ben Bernstein's Petting Zoo Studios in Oakland

PLEASE NOTE: We request that members line up a half hour early for a spot and YES! we do have a grand piano for members' convenience! 

Best Song and Best Performance winners receive:

Best Song wins 3 hours studio time at Ben Leinbach's Old Bull Studios in San Anselmo. Best Performance wins 3 hours studio time at Kevin Harris Music Productions Studios in Alameda

Song Screenings 

NOT held in Berkeley, but are open to any WCS Active member at our other locations.

  • Songs are played in the order submitted
  • $5 cover charge
  • Non-members welcome, but only WCS members may submit songs.  However, should you wish to join at the door, you will be able to participate the same evening.
  • Submit one song per person on CD with a typed lyric sheet showing member's name/address/phone attached to the back with a rubber band.
  • Deadline for CD submission is the sign-up closing time.
  • All songs are played in the room, with the music industry guest critiquing each song so that everyone can hear the song and his/her comments.
  • If interested, the guest will pick up the song for further consideration.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  Song Screenings are open to WCS Members Only

CD Mail-In Service

  • If you are unable to attend the song screening, you may mail in one song for that month's screening series - but it must be received before the 15th of that month.
  • CD's will not be returned
  • You will receive a Publisher's Response Form giving you written feedback regarding your song.
  • Please include a $5 check and a SASE
  • On the outside of the envelope, write the name of the guest screener
  • Mail your CD and Lyric Sheet (One Song Only) plus your $5 fee (Please, no cash) to WCS, 1724 Laurel Street, Suite #120, San Carlos, CA 94070

Works in Progress

NOT held in Berkeley, but are open to any WCS Active member at our other locations.

Hosted by experienced songwriters, Works in Progress is an opportunity to receive constructive criticism on your finished or unfinished song.  Open only to WCS Members: FREE   However, join at the door and you can participate the same evening.

Social Mixers, Seminars, Workshops for all members to enjoy...

WCS offers a number of social mixers throughout the year.  Come and join the fun, chat with friends, meet new friends and network in a very relaxed and enjoyable space.  We truly encourage our members to collaborate, support and build community spirit!

Come join us at the next All Chapter Event!


Freight and Salvage
2020 Addison St
Berkeley, CA 94704
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