The Importance of Music to Girls - Rookie

Earlier this year, in Belfast, Ireland, Miley Cyrus did a cover of the Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”.

This performance was immediately all over my Facebook news feed. Friends of mine, and rock critics that I follow, were calling it “offensive” and “sacrilegious.” One commenter on Rolling Stone’s website summed up their reaction thusly: “She can be a cracked-out, attention-whoring clown all she wants. That does NOT entitle this brat to mess with other people’s music.”

Slagfest: Broken Hill's Premier Wuss Rock Festival - Noisey

Photography by Mia Mala McDonald

Slagfest is the best music festival you've never heard of. The brainchild of Steph Hughes and her mate Darren Hanlon, the festival took place Saturday June 7 at Broken Hill's Palace Hotel with a line-up featuring Steph’s band Dick Diver, Hanlon, The Burnt Sausages and Shelley Short, as well as locals Abbacash and Brother Didge & Friends.

It wasn't just the "famous mound of mining grot known as the Slag Heap" from which the festival took its name that's significant about the place Steph and Darren chose to host the gig; the Palace is the same venue where everyone got drunk in Wake in Fright and where Bern said, "Why don't you just light your tampon, and blow your box apart?" in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. As far as venues go, this one is a national treasure.

Sadly, we couldn't make it to the debut of Broken Hill's Premier Wuss Rock Festival, so we caught up with Steph once she got home to get the lowdown on the weekend that she hoped would "blaze new trails and free the freaks".