NSW mullet festival crowns its first queen

Michelle
Michelle "Darlzy" Gearin won the everyday mullet and highly-coveted best mullet of all at Mulletfest

The country NSW pub that celebrates the mullet hairstyle has crowned its first queen of the party-in-the-back hairdo in front of a crowd of hundreds.

The second annual Mulletfest, held in the coal mining town of Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley on Saturday, celebrated the divisive hairstyle which rose to prominence in the latter half of the 20th century and fell into obscurity shortly after.

This year marked the first time women entered the competition and their bold looks saw them claim three titles including the ranga - redhead - category which was claimed by Newcastle ginger Elyce Kiem.

But the winner of the everyday mullet and the highly-coveted best mullet of all went to Michelle "Darlzy" Gearin.

Ms Gearin reacted with shock and elation as a beer was poured into her trophy to drink in celebration.

"The mullet is a great d*ckhead filter," she told reporters on Saturday.

Ms Gearin hopes her win will inspire other young women to dress how they want.

"Do whatever you want with your hair girls," she said.

Self-confessed newcomer Kelsley Mann, about eight months into his own mullet-growing exercise, said the festival was partly about showing respect for the older generation who had clung to the mullet through its decline and lived to see its resurgence.

"They're the unsung heroes of this place," he told AAP.

"It symbolises Australianism and unity. I've never met any of these people but they're here celebrating like family.

"It's more than a hairstyle, it's a lifestyle."

North Melbourne's Daniel Pilbeam travelled hundreds of kilometres to attend the festival in thongs and a full burgundy suit.

He hid his "southern urban mullet" from his wife for a year, blaming his barber for misstep after misstep, until he could conceal it no longer.

"Eventually she did bust me, and now she's come to sort of like it," he told AAP.

Mr Pilbeam thinks the festival is important because it raises money for Mark Hughes' brain cancer foundation and breaks down the stigma associated with the hard-rocking hairstyle.

"There's been a negative association with mullets over the years and I totally disagree with that," he said.

"Have a look around, this is the full spectrum of society. I think it's great to see."

Australian Associated Press