Needle In The Hay

Needle In The Hay: an update from Happy Mag

Every year, Needle In The Hay gives one artist from Australia or New Zealand the chance to have their music pressed to vinyl. Starting with four incredible guest judges, we’re stoked to share an update on Needle In The Hay 2020.

First things first, we’re pleased to announce that Megan Washington, Eric J, Julia Zemiro, and Bernard Zuel will be your four guest judges for this year’s Needle In The Hay competition!

Covering all bases – artist, producer, industry, and media – these four judges represent a cross-section of Australian music’s finest, with decades of experience at the highest levels between them.

The four judges will check in once 30 Needle In The Hay finalists have been announced, at which point they’ll listen to the competition’s best entries and ultimately choose a winner!

Find out more about each of these Australian music figureheads below.

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, 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.


More Time to Enter

Second, we’re extending Needle In The Hay until 2021. Since the competition was born in 2017 we’ve celebrated the winners with a big party, always featuring a selection of Needle In The Hay finalists. Right now we can’t put on a gig, and with the extra few months we’re promising to make the Needle In The Hay prize pool as stacked as it can be.

Entries will now remain open until February 2021 when 30 finalists will be chosen, and a winner will be announced in March 2021.



We’re also excited to announce digital distribution service Spinnup has come on board with Needle In The Hay.

Part of Universal Music Group, Spinnup is the world’s first label-owned distro service, created to discover new talent and directly connect them with one of the world’s most powerful labels.

Not to mention, they pay artists 100% royalties and offer their members in-depth analytics regarding the performance of their music,so you can release to the world via streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, plus on social media platforms Instagram and TikTok too!

All Needle In The Hay entrants will receive a voucher to upload their first single for free for the first year via Spinnup. Find out more about Spinnup and how you can redeem your voucher here.


More to Come!

So far we’ve been overwhelmed with the quality of entries we’ve received. We’re listening to them every day, and we’ve even been spotlighting some of our absolute favourites so far.

Over the next few months we’ll be revealing the official Needle In The Hay prize pool, a brand new prize category, and much more. Stay tuned for more news very soon!