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 to write a book, which he plans to publish soon. He 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 would also stage events locally 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)


Dana Amma-Day and likes
17 January 2020, 19:59
Pete Lawrence - Update
3 days 18 hours ago
Mark Brookes likes
16 January 2020, 21:40
Pete Lawrence - Update
5 days 10 hours ago
<a href="/profile/pete-lawrence/status-update-pete-lawrence-1579018725">Beth</a>

Celebrating the music and ideas of Beth Salmon...

Becca Hall and commented
09 January 2020, 17:56
Pete Lawrence
9 January 2020, 16:36
Beatboxer extraordinaire, ex Swingle Singer and founder of The Campfire Circle Singers Tobias Hug was lost to cancer today.
LAURIE PYNE and commented or likes
17 January 2020, 17:56
Pete Lawrence
8 January 2020, 19:39
This appeal was prompted by an enlightening conversation yesterday with Caroline Neath in which she urged me to let Campfirers know how they can help. Perceptions, she said, led some to believe that we're a fully functioning company with quite a few employees. The truth is that we are still basically me and a laptop, a handful of devoted volunteers and some occasional contributors to our online platform and events. So, I'm going for it, as Caroline suggested. Come and join us!
LAURIE PYNE and commented or likes
14 January 2020, 20:19
Pete Lawrence
6 January 2020, 17:26
The Campfire community was saddened to hear of the untimely death of Graeme Holdaway today after a severe stroke at the weekend. Graeme had been a good friend of mine since he collaborated with me on the first ever Big Chill mix CD 'Eyelid Movies' in 1995 and had recently been an active Campfire member.
Pete Lawrence - Update
2 weeks 1 day ago
<a href="/profile/pete-lawrence/status-update-pete-lawrence-1578127265">Portugal has found an antidote to right wing populism</a>

This article is also available in: Português Español Considering the...