The U.S. Reversal: How House is Gaining Popularity in 2018

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dance Music Northwest or its leadership.

The American rave scene has gone through multiple shifts throughout our 20+ years. The original dominant genre was arguably house music during the early 90’s. Since 2010, dubstep reigned supreme. In 2018, house, techno, and other genres are quickly gaining more listeners and evolving into the mainstream. Fans who got into electronic dance music in 2010 are growing older and deciding that they also enjoy house, trance, dnb, and techno.

House music developed in Chicago in the early 90’s and quickly sky rocketed to other cities such as, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. Despite house music’s longevity, electronic music did not gain widespread attention in the U.S. until Skrillex’s 2010 Dubstep EP titled My Name Is Skrillex.

The popularity of dubstep marked the development of mainstream electronic music in the states. Dubstep allowed the multiple sub genres of EDM to gain a larger fan base.

Dubstep and bass are arguably some of the most popular EDM genres in America. Bass stages across the country have been glorified for their state of the art speaker systems, 150% energy, and smiling faces, but in 2018 a reversal is happening. People aren’t losing their love of bass music, but discovering other genres that they enjoy.

As we get older, people’s hobbies change and grow. House music has earned thousands of new monthly listeners in 2018. Previously, many sub genres had not gotten attention because of their inherent differences to bass. For example, house and techno do not rely on drops to the same extent as dubstep. Trance and house are different because they have a great deal of emotion in their songs.

Evidence of this shift can be found in the appearance of house centered festivals and events throughout the country. 2018 has definitely been the year of tech-house, and if you can think of one label in particular this year that’s constantly releasing banger’s, it’s Dirtybird. Claude Von Stroke’s Dirtybird BBQ and Campout is quickly becoming one of the most sought after experiences. People travel from every corner of the United States to attend the multiple locations. As the genre picked up steam this year, it also became more prominent on main stages at festivals like ULTRA and EDC.

There are multiple other festivals in America that starting to center more around house and techno. Elements Lakewood Music festival located in Pennsylvania booked headliners Claude Von Stroke, Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, and Chris Lake. CRSSD Music Festival is a tradition in San Diego, and for 2018 they scheduled a variety of artists across the house/techno spectrum, including Claptone, Anti Up (Chris Lorenzo + Chris Lake), AC Slater, Will Clarke, Elderbrook, and Thomas Jack among many others.

Desert Hearts Festival, located in the San Diego Mountains, has been bringing Desert Hearts Crew inspired “house, techno, and love” to the region for the last few years. Likewise, Movement Festival in the heart of Detroit always stays true to their techno and house music roots.