Unless you've never stepped foot in Melbourne's CBD after dark, then you've come across Funky Bunny. The floppy-eared pseudo-celebrity has garnered a huge following on Swanston Street for his relentless energy, ability to slay on the guitar while (presumably) being barely able to see out of his fluffy suit, and funky renditions of popular tunes.
Unfortunately, it looks like Funky Bunny's days could be numbered, as the City of Melbourne has announced a three-month trial ban on amplified busking in the CBD following a spate of noise complains. "People can still busk, they just can't amplify the busking," Lord Mayor Robert Doyle told The Age. "There will be spots around the city where amplified busking is allowed, but following these complaints, Swanston Street will be an amplified-free zone." This zone will extend from Flinders Lane to La Trobe Street.
Naturally, many members of Melbourne's busking community have expressed their concern over the ban, noting that the three-month trial could turn into a permanent ban. Many of these buskers rely on amplification: whether they're playing keyboards, electric guitars or pan flutes.
A petition has been set up to protest the ban, which has almost reached its goal of 3,000 supporters. Funky Bunny (whose Facebook page now has over 10,000 followers) is urging fans to sign the petition, and has spoken out about the role that buskers play in the culture of the city.
So if you love a bit of music on the streets – whether it's funky guitar, soft piano, singing or Latin American folk music, make sure you make your voice heard.