Even COVID-19 has failed to take the clippers to an iconically Aussie festival that is still turning heads as it enters its fifth year.
Mulletfest, one woman's plan to bring a party in the back to her regional NSW town after a key local employer closed down, is attracting international media attention and gearing up for a national tour.
An annual event that pits punter against punter to see who has the best quintessentially Aussie hair-do, Mulletfest returns to the Chelmsford Hotel in Kurri Kurri on Saturday and Sunday before touring the country for the next six months.
The idea for Mulletfest began over a beer at the Chelmsford in 2018, and quickly brought in Aussies from right across the country.
Perhaps more surprising was immediate global media attention, with coverage coming from as far afield as the United Kingdom, the US and Ireland.
Festival founder Laura Johnson said she regularly takes calls from international media throughout the year asking for her expert view on the much-maligned hairstyle.
She founded the event for fun after the closure of a local aluminium smelter that had employed generations of Kurri Kurri locals.
By 2020, Mulletfest had grown from being a fringe attraction to attracting 247 Australian competitors, along with seven men from Canada, the US and Norway.
Even the pandemic has failed to give the hair-raising festival the chop, with Mulletfest 2020 taking place before the virus gained a firm grip in the country.
Ms Johnson said Mulletfest 2021 was "like the little haircut that could" as they held a COVID-safe version of the festival in February last year.
While the pandemic has been tough on many, Mulletfest's organisers said they were "thrilled to see how many people have learned to embrace the mullet ethos while using Zoom: collared shirt on top, pyjama pants and Ugg boots on the bottom".
Mulletfest 2022 includes multiple mullet categories including juniors, adults, redheads, vintage, rookie, grubby, extreme, everyday and international.
The event will tour multiple locations across regional NSW, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria from February to October.
Australian Associated Press
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