As It Happens

Australia's Mulletfest 2018 will decide who has the most 'glorious' mane

The person with the most bonzer (excellent) mullet wins bragging rights and a chance to meet country singer and mullet aficionado Billy Ray Cryus.
Dan (The Mullet Lord) Brown will be a judge at Mulletfest 2018, a competition to crown 'the best mullet of them all' in Kurri Kurri, Australia. (Chelly Hunter Valley/Facebook )

Story transcript

In the Australian town of Kurri Kurri, some folks have been rocking mullets for the last 60 years, says local hairdresser Laura Johnson.

"There are a lot of them who are long-term forever mullet-wearers," Johnson told As It Happens host Carol Off. 

"I think some people are just a mullet-wearer in their soul, and it doesn't matter what the fashion does, they're going to stick to it."

In fact, she said, local legend has it that Kurri Kurri residents invented the iconic haircut that's all business up front and party in the back. 

That's why the small town 150 kilometres north of Sydney is the perfect place to host Mulletfest 2018, she said.

A pair of mullets on display at the Chelmsford hotel in Kurri Kurri — where some folks have been rocking the cut for more than 60 years. (Chelly Hunter Valley/Facebook )

"You know, our town has really struggled over the last few years. Our local aluminum smelter closed about four years ago and took with it 400 generational jobs — and we're only a town of 4,000 people," she said.

"My goal was just to create a bit of fun and show the world what a lovely town we are, and remind them how close we are so they can come and visit."

Mullets of all shapes and sizes

The first inaugural Mulletfest aims to crown "the best mullet of them all," she said.

"It really takes years of investment to really get that party in the back going on, so I think anything with a bit more than about 12 months' length is pretty glorious," she said.

Peter Poole shared this image of his majestic mullet on the Facebook page for Mulletfest 2018. (Peter Poole/Chelly Hunter Valley/Facebook)

But mullets come in all shapes and sizes, Johnson said.

So Mulletfest will hand out awards in five categories — everyday, grubby, "ranga" (red hair), junior and women's.

The latter, she admitted, is a little less popular. Only six of the Mulletfest's 154 contestants are women.

"Sometimes they don't even realize they have a mullet. Other times, they're just a little shy," Johnson said.

"Whereas the men that have entered are certainly loud and proud about their mullets."

So what's in store for the man or woman with the most magnificent mullet?

Bragging rights, of course. And a VIP backstage pass to an upcoming Billy Ray Cyrus concert, complete with a meet-and-greet with the country music star.

"He wants to meet the winner of Mulletfest, so that's very exciting because obviously he's a very iconic mullet-wearer across the globe," Johnson said.

The competition takes place Saturday at the Chelmsford hotel.

Country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus is seen here sporting his famous mullet at the 1993 American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Cyrus will meet with the winner of Mulletfest. (Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images)


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