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With Cambridge-based HipStory, house parties become virtual benefit concerts

Musicians Cliff Notez (left) and Tim Hall officially launched HipStory as a digital media company in 2015.Sasha Pedro

House parties have gone digital; at least with Cambridge-based HipStory they have. For those missing live music’s heart-pounding instrumentals and up-close-and-personal seats, or just kicking back with friends, HipStory has a lineup of local artists for a “PayWhatUCan” ticket price. June 13 marks the digital media company’s first digital house party, streaming live at 7 p.m. Tickets can be reserved on eventbrite.com.

Founded in 2015 by musicians Tim Hall and Cliff Notez, HipStory has become known for house party concerts showcasing local talent. And organizers don’t plan to stop amid the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, they plan to donate proceeds from all events to a justice-based organization or local nonprofit, with sales from Saturday’s event benefiting The Massachusetts Bail Fund.


“We just felt like it was an opportunity to give to organizations that are out doing the work and advocating for voices and bodies like Cliff and I,” Hall said. “We are Black men who are heavily impacted by what is going on.”

Saturday’s performers include folksy singer-songwriter Anjimile, rapper and songwriter Najee Janey, and DJ and activist DJ WhySham. HipStory received a Transformative Public Art Grant from the City of Boston and also partnered with Newbury Comics to fund the event. That allowed organizers to pay featured artists in advance, saving all ticket proceeds for The Massachusetts Bail Fund.

“We’re really grateful to be able to have the opportunity to raise funds for an organization like this in a time like this,” Cliff Notez said. “We also look forward to continuing to do that for different community organizations that are in need.”

The house party theme has roots in 1980s hip-hop when live shows fostered community and comfort. Cliff Notez and Hall plan to host these events on a monthly basis and plan to announce a July date soon.


Grace Griffin can be reached at grace.griffin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GraceMGriffin.