It turns out that label values in Kubernetes have a limit of 63 characters!

I discovered this today when none of my nodes seemed to be connecting to the control plane. Eventually discovered the hostname of the node was longer than 63 characters (mainly due to multiple subdomain levels) and so the label being automtically added to the node was causing Kubernetes to reject it.

If you hit this like me, the hostname used for the label can be overridden using the --hostname-override flag on kubelet or by setting the value of the label yourself with the --node-labels flag.