Proud mullet wearers from across Australia have converged on a country pub in NSW’s Hunter Valley to crown a champion of the infamous hairstyle.
Hundreds of people made the journey to Kurri Kurri’s Chelmsford Hotel on Saturday for the inaugural Mulletfest – a celebration of the 1980’s hairstyle.
A victor was crowned in five categories – best everyday, ranga, junior, grubby and ladies mullet.
From those winners a best of the best winner emerged – Shane “Shag” Hanrahan of nearby Denman.
“This is the first trophy I’ve ever had,” he told AAP after drinking Jim Beam from the silver cup. “I can’t believe it!”
Mr Hanrahan, whose waist-length mullet has gone uncut since 1986, said his wife Julie – who is a hairdresser – signed him up for the festival.
He celebrated the win by leading the band, the Stunned Mullets, in a rendition of Dirty Deeds by AC/DC.
Controversy swept through the pub after the judges failed to give crowd favourite, Victorian potato farmer and coal miner Laurie Manuel, a place in the finals.
“You get up on stage and you think you’re tough with the mullet,” Auburn everyday mullet contender Brad Macmillan said.
“But, when I look at [Laurie] all I feel is envy.”
But Mr Manuel, who flew his luscious hair from Gippsland to Kurri Kurri, said he was just happy to be a part of the festival.
“I just want the young guys to get inspiration from me,” he said.
“Even though you’re 60 years old you can have a really good mullet.”
“Any young guys get started yesterday – get a mullet and keep it going – we want to see you next year.”
Maybe it was his time on the farm or down the mines but Mr Manuel said he thinks dust is the key to a good mullet.
He said he wished his sons, sporting mullet wigs to support their dad, had followed in his footsteps.
“It’s the family’s pride,” his son Paul said.
“Dad wears the mane of the family – it’s like a lion’s mane. It’s a symbol of his life and it’s been around all of his life.
“And I haven’t grown one just yet but, before they put the last nail in my coffin, I’ll have a mullet – just for the old man.”
The festival is expected to return next year.