Information & FAQ

They say knowledge is power, so to keep your Search lit at all times we’ve compiled a handy list of essential information. Find all the bits you’ll need to prepare for the journey. If you still have some questions, or can’t find the information you need listed below, contact us directly at and we’ll shed some light on whatever query you might have. Shine on!

Do you know what's what?

Search Festival is an 18+ event, and all attendees must be 18 years or older to gain entry. Children between the ages of 10 and 18 are not allowed on the festival grounds. However, children under 10 years of age can enter free of charge.

Most of Search Festival is accessible to differently-abled individuals. The festival venue features mainly flat, grassy terrain, with a mix of grass, dirt, cement, and forest areas located around a river and several dams. We offer wheelchair-accessible bathrooms with toilets and showers, although not all are equally accessible. Additionally, we have designated accessible camping areas located near these accessible bathrooms, but they must be reserved in advance. If you have any accessibility-related questions or requests, please feel free to email us directly at
Please note that pets are not permitted at Search Festival 2023 due to the loud environment, which can be harmful to their ears, and the presence of other festival-goers who may not feel comfortable around animals. While our festival takes place on a working farm, the animals reside outside the festival grounds. However, registered guide dogs are an exception and are allowed. If you plan to bring a registered guide dog, please inform us in advance via email at before the festival starts.

Alcohol & BYO
Our festival bars will be serving a delightful range of cocktails, beers, wines, ciders, and soft drinks for purchase via card. Search Festival is a cashless event, and please be aware that connectivity at the venue is limited, so plan accordingly. You're also welcome to bring your own beverages, but keep in mind that glass containers are not permitted on the festival grounds. We recommend transferring spirits into reusable water bottles or cups before entering the festival. If you're bringing beers, please ensure they are in cans. We also encourage you to bring your own mug or cup for use at the bars. The locations of the bars will be listed on the site map, which will be released soon.

Banned Items
The following items are prohibited and will be confiscated if found. We cannot guarantee that confiscated items will be returned.

  • Fire (including fireworks, sparklers, candles, gas cookers, etc). There is a total ban on fire in campsites for the duration of the event – if you are found with any of the aforementioned items at your campsite you will be immediately removed from the festival. Controlled fires will be provided by Search Festival for food vendors only.
  • Illicit substances, or legal highs including nitrous oxides. They are dangerous!
  • Electronic devices like sound systems, drones and lasers.
  • Weapons and items deemed dangerous by security and/or event staff.
  • Animals (unless it’s a registered guide dog, which we need to be informed of first).
  • Glass of any kind (this includes bottles of spirits, perfume, water bottles, food containers, foods in glass jars like Marmite or pasta sauce). Come prepared!
  • Professional recording equipment and cameras with detachable lenses.
For a full list of banned items please refer to our terms and conditions.
Camping & Accommodation
General Camping

Our General Camping is free and included in your festival ticket. It offers a vibrant environment with close access to all stages and amenities. No additional booking is necessary for General Camping; just bring your gear and your vibes. Our campgrounds operate on a first-come, first-serve basis – better come early if you want shade! Camping spots may not be reserved or allocated for participants prior to or at the festival – we will be keeping an eye out for this. No cars are allowed in this area at all.
Car Camping
Car Camping is a separate from the festival ticket and needs to be purchased in addition to it. For those with campervans or rooftop tents, this add-on is essential as this is also your parking. If you would like to camp with your car in any capacity, you also need to this add-on. Please be aware that this campground is removed from General Camping and is better geared for campervans and rooftop tents. Space is limited and there is no shade in this area.
Pre-Pitched Camping
Pre-Pitched Accommodation is available for those without gear or anyone who wants to skip the hassle of setting up camp. Please note that while this option is convenient, it's not glamping. Each tent sleeps two people, and we offer three tiers with varying amenities. The tents are in their own camping area away from General Camping. Please note, your Pre-Pitched Accommodation does not grant you entry into the festival – you will need to purchase festival tickets separately.  
  • Pre-Pitched Basic (2 pax)
    R1500 + Booking Fee
    • Pre-setup canvas tent
    • 2 camping mattresses on floor
    • NB! Bring own bedding
  • Pre-Pitched Comfort (2 pax)
    R2000 + Booking Fee
    • Pre-setup canvas tent
    • 2 comfortable sponge mattresses on wooden pallets
    • White linen pillows and bedding
  • Pre-Pitched Comfort Extra (2 pax)
    R2500 + Booking Fee
    • Pre-setup canvas tent
    • 2 comfortable sponge mattresses on wooden pallets
    • White linen pillows and bedding
    • Stretch-tent shade for extra protection
Sleeping in cars in the general parking area is not permitted, as there are no amenities there. We rely on everyone's cooperation to keep our campsites clean, clear, and comfortable for all attendees. Our Eco Team and Guardian Angels will facilitate this communal effort to create a welcoming environment, but your active involvement is essential.
If you're interested in renting tented accommodation, you can do so below!
Search Festival takes place at Utopia Guest House and Wedding Venue near the town of Swellendam in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It's approximately a 3-hour drive from Cape Town, the nearest city with an international airport, and about a 2.5-hour drive from George, the nearest city with a regional airport. You can easily find the location on Google Maps.

Please stay tuned for exact directions, which will be released closer to the event.
Electricity & Loadshedding
There is no public electricity available for general use at the festival to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the event. We understand that you may wonder why this is the case. Loadshedding is a significant concern in South Africa. It refers to planned power outages implemented by the national electricity supplier due to an energy crisis that has persisted for several years.

We have backup generators in place to help mitigate the impact of loadshedding, but please be aware that they may take a moment to switch over when needed. We appreciate your understanding and patience in this regard, as it's a nationwide challenge. During loadshedding, we encourage festival-goers to use electricity sparingly and make use of the limited charging points provided for phones. However, please use these charging points with caution, as they are use-at-your-own-peril, and no security is provided for these areas. We aim to provide a safe and enjoyable festival experience despite these energy challenges.

It's crucial to maintain your energy levels and stay hydrated throughout the weekend. We strongly recommend bringing enough snacks to sustain you during the festival, as the nearest shop is approximately 10 km from the venue. On-site, you'll find a variety of food trucks at our food court, offering a range of cuisines that cater to all dietary requirements, preferences, and intolerances. Please note that vendors will primarily accept card payments, with mobile pay and Snapscan being dependent on cellphone signal availability.

  • Flat Mountain Coffee
  • Love Pizza (veggie and meat)
  • Holy Macaroni (vegan, veggie, and meat)
  • Blended Bar (vegan, veggie, and meat)
  • Crust Almighty (veggie and meat)
  • The Veg Kitchen (veggie and vegan)
  • Eat Snacks Kitchen (veggie)
  • Amar e Vita [Pierre-Estienne's food truck] (veggie)
  • Oxalis Eatery (vegan, veggie, and meat)
Portable cooking equipment like barbecue stands or gas stoves is not permitted in camping areas. We provide a communal braai area between 13:00 and 15:00, but space cannot be guaranteed. We kindly ask you to operate with consideration for others in this shared space.
Gate Times
The festival gates will be open for access from 10 am on the 30th of December until 4 pm on the 2nd of January. All festival-goers must exit the venue by this time at the latest. Please be aware that the gate will be closed for entry between 8 pm and 8 am each night during the festival.

While we do not restrict attendees from leaving if necessary, we strongly discourage driving to and from the festival at night, and no exceptions will be made to this rule.
Kiosk (General Store)
An on-site kiosk is available for essential items you may have forgotten to bring. The kiosk stocks a variety of last-minute needs, including toiletries. More details about the kiosk will be provided soon.

Medical, Health & Wellbeing
If you or someone you know requires medical assistance during the festival, our medical tent staffed by trained professionals is available 24 hours a day. If you need to bring medication or a syringe for medical purposes, please ensure you have a copy of your prescription and a photo ID to show festival staff upon arrival at the entrance. For medications that require refrigeration, our medical tent staff will be able to assist you.

We are committed to providing a space that is judgement-free and where any issue can be discussed openly and in confidence. We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the location of the medical tent, and you can always go to the Information Station if you need directions.

Your health should be your number one priority throughout the entire weekend. Remember to stay hydrated, eat regularly throughout the day and night, get enough sleep, be conscious of your limits, and make informed choices. We encourage a mature and safe party culture, where you can have fun while taking care of yourself and each other. This year, we're introducing Guardian Angel volunteers working with a Caretaker Lead to help ensure safer spaces at the festival. They will be wearing bright colourful outfits for easy identification and are the people to speak to if anybody is having a rough time or feeling uncomfortable.

Information Station
You'll find a central information station easily between the stages and the main camping areas. We recommend you take note of it on your way to see the festival grounds for the first time. The information station serves as the central point for most questions, lost items, and a dedicated safe space to chill and find comfort in. Our Caretaker Lead will also be stationed close to this area. Our team and volunteers will operate the information station around the clock, and they are there to provide assistance with anything you might need or even just to have a chat. Here, you will also have the opportunity to buy from the kiosk, and maybe even acquire some of that debut Search merch we've been promising!

Lost & Found
If you lose an item at Search, please head to the Information Station, located between the stages and the main campsite. Our team can help you fill out a lost property form and will try to help relocate your item. If you find something valuable at Search that doesn’t belong to you, please do the right thing and drop it off at the Information Station.

We'll hold onto lost items for 30 days following the event. We'll also communicate what we found via social media. However, if items are not claimed within this time frame, they will be donated, discounted, or sold. Unfortunately, we cannot mail found items to participants; they will need to be fetched from a centrally located place in Cape Town, South Africa.

Search Festival is primarily a music festival, and music is played at high volumes for many hours at a time. Why would you come and play your own music to compete with it? We kindly request that you make an effort to be mindful of your neighbours, both inside the campgrounds and outside the festival site. To protect your ears, consider using ear protection when you're sleeping and at the stages themselves.
Payments & ATMs
This year, we are using a cashless payment system, and our vendors and bars will rely heavily on card payments due to limited connectivity. Please note that you might not be able to use mobile pay or Snapscan if you do not have signal, which is very likely at the festival grounds.
While we are officially a cashless event, we would always recommend being prepared for all eventualities. There is no ATM machine on-site, so please plan accordingly and ensure you have enough cash on hand for any personal expenses.
Recycling & Waste Management
This year, we are working in partnership with the local municipality, Recycle 1st, and Lubanzi Wines to create a cohesive and well-supported recycling system. Your active involvement is crucial to making it work better.

Nothing helps the environment more than proper planning to avoid excessive consumption and waste in the first place. Please bring reusable containers and your own cutlery/mugs. Our vendors and bars will only be serving food and drinks in biodegradable materials and cans, so please deposit these correctly in our recycling system.

Search Festival follows the Leave-No-Trace principle, which means we expect you to leave the festival site and its surroundings in the same pristine and cared-for condition you found them. Please collect your waste properly, do not litter, and show respect for nature and your fellow festival attendees. Leave only good vibes and positivity behind.

We have a strict no refunds policy due to the significant risk involved in planning and funding the event.
If you are no longer able to attend the event, you can resell your ticket and transfer it to the buyer or put your ticket up for resale on Quicket. More information on reselling tickets available in the "Reselling Tickets" section.
Reselling Tickets
Ticket resales happen through Quicket, our official ticketing platform. This process is not handled by Search Festival. Information on Public and Private resales can be found here.
Safer Spaces
Search Festival takes a firm stance against any aggressive or inappropriate behaviour. This includes instances of racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia. If you witness or are affected by any inappropriate behaviour, please report it to a Guardian Angel volunteer, a stage manager, or anyone working at the Information Station.

If you or anyone around you begins to feel unwell at any point or seems to be in distress for any reason, please inform a Guardian Angel, steward, or member of security immediately. Your well-being and the well-being of those around you are of utmost importance. We encourage a safe and respectful party culture, so have fun, but take care of each other and yourself. This year, we're introducing Guardian Angel volunteers who work with a Caretaker Lead to help ensure safer spaces at the festival. They will be wearing bright colourful outfits for easy identification and are there to assist anyone who may be having a rough time or feeling uncomfortable.

Set Times
Stage times and artist information can be found here.
Site Map
Can be found here.
Showers & Toilets
Showers will be accessible throughout the duration of the festival and are free of charge. Hot showers will be limited to specific times in the morning and evening. Please keep your showers short for the sake of other Searchers – 5 mins is more than enough!
The venue is being prepared with brick-and-mortar toilets and additional port-a-loos, so you can take a yung poop with ease, knowing it will not come back to haunt you. Please use our sanitation bins for anything that could clog the pipes!
Shuttle Bus
We have arranged for a charter bus to transport festival-goers from Cape Town to Utopia and back. The bus leaves Cape Town from the V&A Waterfront at 08:00 on December 30, 2023, and departs from the festival at 12:00 on January 2, 2024. Bookings for the shuttle bus are essential and can be made via our ticket page on Quicket. This is the most direct and relatively affordable way to get to the festival from Cape Town. You can book your shuttle bus tickets here.
No such thing as wasted effort when it comes to waste! Teamwork gives the dream perks. Search is partnering with Utopia, Lubanzi Wines, Waste-ED, Krem Vape Studio, the Swellendam Municipality and YOU to ensure that we fulfil our trashiest dreams in the most sustainable way we can currently think of (and afford). Here’s what we’re doing this year to try and improve our waste management and sustainability initiatives.

No Glass Allowed: This is an absolutely - no two ways about it - NO GLASS event. Please come prepared! Your fancy (or not so fancy) vodka? Decant it. Your bottle of champagne that you think people want to be sprayed with? Nope. No glass means no glass. It's heavy, it's dangerous and it's just a waste of space. Bring tin instead or support our biodegradable options!

‍Recycling: Recyclables (think cans and plastic containers) will be taken to the municipality's recycling station. Non-recyclables (think crisp packets, candy wrappers and the plastic film that covers your grape punnet) will be stuffed into ecobricks or disposed of responsibly at the municipality. 

Ecobricks: Ecobricks are reusable building blocks made from plastic bottles packed with non-biodegradable waste. They are a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to bricks. We'll separate, wash and dry items appropriate for ecobrick creation, which will be used to make furniture for future Searches, at our Ecobrick Station.

Vape Recycling: Vapes will be collected at our Ecobrick station and recycled by Krem Vape Studio.

Composting: The food waste from our vendors will feed Utopia's pigs. Biodegradable crockery from food vendors and bars will be composted on site (after the festival, of course).

Eco Team: The Eco Team volunteers (bless their souls) will make rounds emptying bins and sorting trash at our depot. They'll instigate MOOP swoops on the dancefloor and encourage Searchers to get involved with keeping things clean (you better werk).

Bring reusable items: Ditch single use plastics that would go straight to landfill and instead bring reusable items including cups, bowls and cutlery. ‍Plan ahead!

Leave-No-Trace: Embody the Keep It Clean, Keep It Green principle by collecting and sorting your waste properly. Don't litter. Show respect for the venue (not to mention the Earth, hello?!) and your fellow Searchers by leaving only good vibes and positivity behind. Pay attention to “microtrash” – glitter, ciggies, and so on. You don't need glitter to sparkle, babes.
The dam at the festival venue is lovely for swimming, but please exercise caution when doing so, as it can be quite deep. We strongly advise only swimming while sober and only during the daytime. Swimming during the night is strictly forbidden for safety reasons. Please note that lifeguards are only on duty during the day.

Vehicle Pass
To promote carpooling and control available space, a Vehicle Pass is required for parking your car at Search Festival. These passes can be purchased on the Quicket page.

There are two categories for Vehicle Passes: General Parking at R50 and Car Camping at R100.

The General Parking category is for those parking in the general parking area who are staying in tents in the general camping area.

The Car Camping category is for anyone who wishes to stay in or on their cars, regardless of the size of the vehicle (but by default, campervans and rooftop tent vehicles are parked here).
Terms & Conditions
We kindly request that you read all the Terms & Conditions before arriving at Search Festival. You can find them here.

Water & Hygiene
Safe drinking water, which is tested yearly for consumption safety, is available for free at water points spread across the festival site. All taps in the bathrooms are also safe to drink from unless otherwise stated, such as in the port-a-loos. We encourage the wise use of water, as this is a water-scarce environment where every drop counts. Please consider bringing additional water in a reusable container (but not glass!) for your campsite needs.
Festivals involve close proximity to each other, so it's essential to maintain good hygiene practices. Please remember to wash your hands and sanitise frequently, especially after using the toilets.
An important thing to note about music festivals — the stories you often hear about water making people sick is not exactly accurate. What's happening is people use the toilets and then don't wash their hands properly afterwards. We try our best to make sure all taps get sanitised regularly, but good practice starts with our participants. We request that you exercise good hygiene when using our shared ablutions and water sources. 

The weather in peak summer in the Swellendam area can range from blisteringly hot during the day (25–30ºC) to quite cool at night (12–15ºC). Occasionally, heavy rain may occur. We recommend bringing fresh clothing for the daytime and warm clothes for the night. If you are camping, consider bringing an extra blanket and towel for added comfort.

Cellphones & Mobile Networks
Please be aware that network signal is generally poor at the festival grounds and often unusable when the majority of participants are in attendance. There are no Wi-Fi hotspots either, as the limited bandwidth is necessary to run the festival. We also encourage a balance between digital connection and enjoying the festival experience. So, while you may experience connectivity issues, it's also an opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and immerse yourself fully in the festival atmosphere.