Search Festival is a fun and weird little ode to beautiful contradictions, a profound production that dodges typical New Year’s clichés while simultaneously embracing them. What started as a low-key gathering by friends with a knack for cuteness and a desire for the unconventional has spiralled into Search: a testament to what happens when you mix a bit of anarchy with a lot of love. It's an annual pilgrimage for incredible music, a shared secret that’s been slowly unfolding over many years in South Africa, growing through sweat, laughs, and the collective will to keep searching for something real. Search in its current form takes place on a beautiful riverside farm near Swellendam in the Western Cape Province.


Our mission is to build an extraordinary music festival that topples conventional New Year’s Eve expectations through incredible curation and community participation. Think of us as the architects of fun, the masons of merriment, constructing a scaffolding so sturdy and whimsical around a building we're always deconstructing, like a jungle gym for your soul. Our vision is to keep stretching this fantastical structure skyward, creating a beacon of inspiration that not only lights up the few days of the festival but the minds of all attending for the new year and beyond. We hoist our community up to dizzying heights for euphoric joy and connection.



Defining Search, much like running it, isn’t easy. But let's try! It's a cocktail of curiosity, sincerity, dedication, joy and a dash of rebellion. It's about keeping the vibes crisp, the tunes eclectic, and the company top-notch. It's the scaffolding required for proper world-building (it's even in our logo, if you weren't aware) and has taken on many different forms over the last decade. It is still a collective effort and a shared idea, woven into existence by the hands and hearts of our participants – the crew, volunteers, contributors, and you. It's not about being the biggest or the loudest, but about creating a space where resonance in creativity and care may be achieved, reciprocated and appreciated. We're always open to feedback — please use the link below if you have any!


Theme 2023 — "Illumination"

Each edition of Search sets an intention, something akin to a theme and a New Year’s resolution. This year we’re on the Search for Illumination — a breath of lightness, a featherlite experience, a very reflective beam bouncing off every surface (even where the sun don't shine). Are you enlightened yet? Should you be? The Sun peeks out from behind the clouds. Come on, Sun, lighten up! Or maybe just get lit? The world is full of shadows right now, so it makes sense for a festival that’s always been a beacon to its community to up the brightness of our collective consciousness. Are you interested in flipping your life to light mode? This is the place to do it. After all, many hands make light work.


Guiding Principles

These principles are not a rigid set of rules – they’re ideals that offer guidelines to how we as a community can uphold the vision we set out with for Search – to be an ouroboros of inspiration and care, embracing renewal and self-reflexivity. In summary, don’t be kak, just be lekker.

Get Involved

It’s about what you bring to Search. Our festival thrives on active participation. Everyone contributes, not out of necessity, but from a desire to create and engage. Remember, if you feel Search lacks something, ask yourself: What are you doing for Search? Together, we shape this experience.


Try to understand each other’s cultures, opinions, and motivations. Respect common rights and treat people with the same respect and dignity you would want from them. Aretha Franklin even made a song about it, so best to take it seriously.

Mindful Jolling

We embrace the wild heat of our celebrations with a cool head. Hydration, health, and well-being are the best accessories at our festival. We look after ourselves and each other, ensuring that the party is as safe as it is sensational.

Stop, Communicate + Listen

Embrace diversity in communication and collaborations. Verbalise difficulties when they arise and give praise to the Searchers that be! And if you're struggling with this, find a buddy or Guardian Angel volunteer to assist you.

Keep It Clean, Keep it Green

Preserve our green spaces. Lead by example in maintaining cleanliness and environmental sustainability. Don't bring glass, don't leave stompies, and don’t be rubbish. Pick up that trash – it's everyone's responsibility.

Better Together

Support each other through highs and lows. If someone seems in distress, seek assistance from friends, crew members, security, or Guardian Angel volunteers.

Constant Consent

Consent is a continuous, voluntary, verbal and non-coerced mutual agreement. It applies to all interactions, not just intimate ones. If someone says no, it means no! There is absolutely no shame in asking for consent.


Okay but like, there are actually some rules at the end of the day too. Search strives to create safer spaces for experiences and engagements in a way that is accessible and inclusive to everyone. Our Code of Conduct is one tool to help us achieve this goal. This Code of Conduct applies to everyone in the Search community when attending events or participating in its spaces. Everyone in the New Search community is expected to have reviewed this Code of Conduct and must comply with it when at Search Festival. You can review our Code of Conduct and access our Incident Reporting Form below:

Keep yourself and others safe!