Man fined over 'pop up party' during Covid pleads for $3000 in donations

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A Sydney man who was fined $1000 for breaching the city's Covid-19 lockdown has set up a fundraiser to support him financially. 

Andrew Riis was fined by NSW Police after he parked his vehicle at the southern end of Manly's promenade earlier this month before playing music and blowing bubbles as he stood on the top of the van dancing with a friend.

At the time, NSW Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys criticised his actions, branding his stunt a "pop-up party". Video of Mr Riis on top of his vehicle show several people gathered around, mainly children.

Over the weekend, Mr Riis set up a GoFundMe page seeking $3000 after he claims "misinformation" has "damaged" his reputation, causing him financial loss.

Andrew Riis is pictured on top of his vehicle earlier this month (left), and right on the beach. Source: Facebook
Andrew Riis is pictured on top of his vehicle earlier this month (left). Source: Facebook

"[The incident] has now led to the immediate termination of my main source of consulting income, he explained.

Mr Riis stressed he believed he was behaving in line with the public health order which prohibits people from leaving the home for non-essential activities.

The page has so far raised $520. 

He said money raised will go to legal costs "dealing with the penalty", supporting himself while out of work and professional advice dealing with the media.

Sydney man promises to spread joy with raised funds

Mr Riis said any remaining funds will be used to "spread joy" in the community during the lockdown.

Riis says he played the guitar as someone hands him his fine. Source: Facebook
Riis says he played the guitar as he was delivered his infringement notice by police. Source: Facebook

He shared a photo of police handing him his infringement notice where he can be seen playing guitar and again blowing bubbles from a machine.

"They are having a hard time just like the rest of us, so it would be great to provide a brief moment of joy while they carried out their duties," he explained on Facebook.

Sections of the community have supported Mr Riis following the incident, however others have said it is a clear breach of restrictions.

Last week, NSW Police vowed to increase their presence in beachside suburbs after multiple images and video, including from Manly, showed large numbers of people congregating with social distancing in question.

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