Alistair Bush has sworn that if he wins Mulletfest today, he will burn his mullet and deliver the ashes back to Australia as a fitting tribute to make up for the 1882 Ashes cricket series.
The UK-based army doctor has never quite got over us thumping the Poms in the series that began the Ashes tradition. Even winning the Mulletfest heat on Kurri Kurri earlier this year hasn't quite salved that wound, but taking out its title - arguably as prestigious and no less central to the Australian culture as the cricket - might help.
Mulletfest returns to the Hunter today to crown the nation's - nay, the world's - most outstanding specimen of the uniquely Australian haircut. What started as a rowdy party at the back of the Chelmsford Hotel in 2018 that unexpectedly gained a global following is now a travelling behemoth of counterculture.
The Hebburn Motorsport Park is the spiritual home of the mullet in the Hunter Valley, and the faithful have come from the US, the UK, and all corners for the country this weekend to celebrate the do and everything it represents.
For the uninitiated, the mullet might appear as anything, the Herald wrote in 2022. It can be a gimmick, a joke that celebrates good-natured poor taste, or a brotherly embrace of the awkward and the grubby, but to those who wear them it has become a symbol of their rebellion, a culture of their own.
Mulletfest will be once again raising funds for the Mark Hughes Foundation and in 2023 will also include the Bogan Games - a series of off-stage antics to test the metal of those who wear the Aussie style.
Like many mullets, Dr Bush began growing his hair during the COVID years when haircuts were scarce, and kept it when the soldiers he works with on a south-west England Army camp took a liking to it. Dr Bush is using his Mulletfest appearance to raise funds for Testicular Cancer UK, he told UK TV show The Last Leg hosted by comedian Adam Hills this month, supporting many of is patients who are in the at-risk age group for the disease.
The event is ticketed, and includes the Mulletfest Parade, with category competitions for the Everyday, Grubby, Vintage, Ranga, Extreme, Rookie and Junior mullets.
Gates open from 10am with an official after party at the Chelmsford Hotel after gates close at 8pm. Ticket holders may bring camp chairs or a picnic blanket, prams or strollers.