Happy Mag Presents: Needle In The Hay

We are stoked to announce that our Needle In The Hay vinyl competition has returned!

Fresh off the back of Needle In The Hay 2019, we wasted no time putting the wheels in motion for the next move. This time it’s going to be bigger than ever.

This time we are opening Needle In The Hay to singles. Entering will put you in the running to have your track pressed to 7″ vinyl by Zenith Records, and win a ton of prizes to boot.

Entries close January 31st, 2021 at midnight.

The Process

  • Paste the URL for your single (either released or unreleased) to the NitH enter page and pay the $10 entry fee via PayPal – please only submit streamable links (Soundcloud, Bandcamp, or Spotify), any other submissions may be delayed or voided.
  • The Happy team will listen to every submission and decide on a set of finalists.
  • From the finalists, four guest judges will choose the winner and runners-up.
  • All finalists are eligible to play our Finalists’ Party in September 2020 at the Marlborough Hotel in Sydney.

Please note that NitH is open only to Australian or New Zealand artists, either signed or independent. You CAN submit multiple singles, however, these must be separate entries. Demos are a-ok too!

Enter Needle In The Hay Here

The intent of Needle In The Hay is to foster greater awareness of upcoming artists, and offer them the opportunity to release their music on vinyl. We are on the side of new Aussie and New Zealand bands and Happy Mag hopes to play a part in developing the careers of these artists, shining a light on the next wave of emerging talent.

The Prizes

Over $30,000 in prizes are up for grabs this year! View the full prize pool here.

Special thanks to this year’s prize partners: Zenith Records, Audio-Technica, Turramurra MusicJMC AcademySpinnupZippoujam, Baby Audio, and Jameson Irish Whiskey.

The Judges

Megan Washington: A two-time ARIA Award winner and multi-platinum album seller, Megan Washington is one of Australia’s most celebrated songwriters and performers.

Eric J: Eric J Dubowsky is a Grammy and ARIA Award winning mixer, songwriter and record producer. He’s worked with Flume, The Chemical Brothers, and Weezer –  to name a few.

Julia Zemiro: Best known as the host of RocKwiz and her own show Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, Julia Zemiro has become a household name as a TV presenter, radio host, actress, and comedian.

Bernard Zuel: With over 25 years experience across Rolling Stone, the Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age, Bernard Zuel is one of Australia’s most decorated and renowned music journalists.

Previous Winners

Kardajala Kirridarra – Self-titled
Spacey Jane – Thrills
IV League – When You Lose Me


• Only submit streaming links (Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify preferred). All other submissions may be difficult to process. Please check your links are working before you send them.
• Yes, managers and labels can enter on behalf of artists they represent.
• Yes, signed artists can enter the comp.
• Yes, demos are a-ok.
• Yes, if you’ve already released your single on vinyl, or if it has featured on another release, that’s totally ok.
• Yes, you can enter old singles.
• Yes, you can enter as many singles as you like.
• If you submit an unreleased single, you must agree to publish the track in time for the winner’s announcement in early 2021.
• You must own rights to any single(s) you submit.
• Happy Media agrees to keep any unreleased singles or demos private to internal stakeholders for the duration of the competition.

Special thanks to Spinnup, JMC Academy, Zenith RecordsJMC AcademyIK MultimediaZippoujamBaby Audio, and Jameson Irish Whiskey for being a part of Needle In The Hay 2020.