Pete Lawrence
@firestarter / Trailblazer member / Founder member


Male, , birthday 29th October
Joined August 2015

The biog says

"Social entrepreneur Pete Lawrence is the conceptualist and firestarter of this social network and community Campfire Convention, a concept he has been working on for the last decade and is currently launching.

Prior to that, he is probably best known as the co-founder of The Big Chill, and originator of the 'boutique' festival experience. The event quickly attracted a large number of very loyal followers, building to a peak in 2005 of 35, 000. Pete gave early exposure to such names as Lily Allen, Goldfrapp, Amy Winehouse, Gotan Project, Mr Scruff, Röyksopp, Zero 7 and Lemon Jelly. After establishing itself as one of the top half dozen UK festivals, Pete was included in Time Out’s Top 100 ‘movers and shakers’ alongside the likes of Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Madonna, Brian Paddick, Ken Livingstone and Tony Blair.

In the mid 80s Lawrence was recognised as a respected tastemaker with an unconventional flair when he discovered and spontaneously recorded US folk singer Michelle Shocked on a walkman around a Texas campfire for his fledgling Cooking Vinyl label. The resulting album ‘The Texas Campfire Tapes’, with its £1 ‘field recording’ budget, went on to top the independent album charts in 1987 and establish the label at the forefront of the world and roots music scenes.

Subsequently, Pete also became a writer, radio DJ and journalist. Through the 90s he had regular columns in Top, Update and Jockey Slut as well as founding, editing and publishing his own On magazine. Pete has arguably been one of the most influential and respected tastemakers on the electronic and downtempo scenes, and made his BBC Radio 2 debut on August Bank Holiday 2006 with a two hour chill out show. As an artist, he records under the name of Chilled By Nature, and in 2006 released his first album ‘Under One Sun’ on Big Chill Recordings, featuring a number of live guests, including The Swingle Singers, and Mozez of Zero 7 fame, who collaborated with Pete on ‘State Of Grace’.

Pete resigned as a shareholder and director of The Big Chill in early 2008, moving to the village of Braunston in Northamptonshire and has principally spent his time developing a blueprint for a social network, Campfire Convention, an evolutionary platform for creative thinkers, funded and shaped by its own members, which also stages events with community focus. Campfire is now online at and Pete is currently living in Frome, Somerset.


Key Skills





Ray Lawrence, Pauline Lawrence, My children, Frank Zappa, Ry Cooder, Scilla Elworthy, Paul Mason, Brian Eno, Kate Raworth, Shoshana Zuboff, Roger Deakin, Stuart Maconie, Steve Jobs, Jeff Jarvis, Tom Hodgkinson, Naomi Klein, E.P. Thompson, Plato, Fraser Clark, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Tony Benn, Richard D.Wolff, Daniel Pinchbeck, Bill Drummond, Jonathan Pie, Derek Jarman, Monty Python, Offshore pirate radio, John Peel, Danny Baker, Cecil Sharp, Tom Middleton, Alan James, Erica Ruben, Charlie Brooker, James Veitch, Mac Macartney


Campfire Convention (founder / firestarter), The Big Chill (co-founder), Cooking Vinyl (founder)


Julie Horsley likes
31 July 2020, 15:06
Pete Lawrence
28 July 2020, 13:37
The jury is still out on how these wonders of nature come about, a mystique that only adds to our sense of wonder. I have regularly chanced upon spectacular crop circles at nearby Cley Hill on the Wiltshire - Somerset borders and have been struck by the perfect symmetry and majesty. It prompted me to look into the phenomenon.
Pete Lawrence
2 July 2020, 16:26
I've worked in the live music, festival and events industry now for over 40 years. In many ways it has been the focus for my life. Over the years the music and arts industry has grown and grown as a percentage of GNP and creative output, yet it is seemingly still not regarded as an essential industry worthy of support from the government. Today, artists, promoters, production companies, many third party-suppliers from security to cleaners, and many concert-goers alike, launch the campaign, #LetTheMusicPlay. To highlight the importance of the sector to the UK's economy and for everyone's collective voices to be heard in Whitehall.
Julie Horsley and commented or likes
29 June 2020, 20:08
Pete Lawrence
26 June 2020, 11:28
I first went to Glastonbury in 1983 and stopped going around 20 years ago. I reflect own some of the memories and wonder what the future holds for large gatherings. This is our opportunity to re-configure. Glastonbury's dilemmas are part of the wider dismantling and disassembling of the BIG!  Aspects of life that no longer serve us.
Julie Horsley and likes
29 June 2020, 20:08
Pete Lawrence
24 June 2020, 08:56
Campfire Convention staged its first foray to do an online festival-style gathering over the summer solstice weekend to promote unity and harmony. World Harmony was a new adventure for us, prompted by Covid's effects putting on hold our planned summer events which led to new directions and online connections. Positive feedback is still coming in with around 10000 viewers / listeners from 60 countries.
Katherine Lucy Sang likes
20 June 2020, 19:02
Katherine Lucy Sang and likes
25 June 2020, 12:49
Pete Lawrence - Update
2 months 2 hours ago