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)


Are you a Trailblazer?


Imagine a politics that asked you to maintain these values throughout your behaviour. Very different from what we have now.




Are you interested in standing as a Trailblazer?

Proposal :  Trailblazer politics isn’t a political party - it’s about re-imagining politics as it should be. It places hope, positivity and pragmatic solutions centre stage, a national movement for change with potential to become international.

An independent initiative from Campfire Convention and The Alternative UK to explore whether we're ready for a new politics to emerge and to conceptualise our future, perhaps more based around Citizen's Assemblies as a way of solving the key issues of our times.

We envisage something way more exciting than dinosaur political parties. The movement is about people, representing themselves, moving forwards together. 

The candidates we are looking for are well and truly ready for a new politics to emerge. With only 2% of the UK population a member of a political party, it’s time for the tail to stop wagging the dog. We need an alternative.

Those who wish to get involved will be less focused on complaining about the failings of the current government and more into the enormous potential of what could happen when the 98% begin to get involved. We’re looking for Trailblazers - capable of lighting up a path, so people can step up.

We might even stand for election - in constituencies with a heavy Tory majority to gain publicity and set out our stall. We might not enter in areas where a progressive anti-Tory vote can win. Then again, we might. There is a lot to play for over the next few years. Who knows how things might evolve...

Some ideas and discussion points : 


1 Progressive. A society run by all, for all, grounded in common sense and integrity.

2 Independent. Working outside the existing outmoded party political structure and tribal dogma.

3 Local. Respect for democracy at grass roots level, localised communities working within a global interconnected framework.

4 Empowering. Working for the good of all, creating and nurturing a participatory environment where people feel they have a voice and can make a difference through liquid democracy.

5 Humanistic. A greener, more empathic society moving away from materialism and profit as primary drivers, celebrating its spiritual elements and natural beauty, supporting renewables and working for peace through openness and conflict resolution. 

6 Collaborative. Encouraging complementary skills and knowledge, bringing people together via mutual support mechanisms and initiatives which reward their own members through measured input. 

7 Diverse. Joining the dots but respecting the differences, bringing to the table a range of viewpoints and experience.

8 Connected. A self-sufficient networked community that maximises technology and networking, enabling co-ordination and exchange, supporting creative commons and open source approaches.

9 Resourceful. Building collective wisdom through learning and ideas development. Building life tools through accurate news formulation and dissemination. 

10 Fun. What’s living for if not to enjoy life and all it has to offer? People should value being engaged and feel good about themselves, focus on hope and reject fear.


Courage. Courage to look problems in the eye. But also courage about the future we share.
Generosity. Everything which can be shared will be shared with anyone interested.
Transparency. Everybody should be able to look over our shoulders. On good days and on bad.
Humility. To the task. To those on whose shoulders we stand. And to those who will follow us.
Humour. Without humour there can be no creativity. Without creativity there can be no good ideas. Without good ideas there can be no creative power. Without creative power there can be no results.
Empathy. Putting yourself in other people’s shoes. Looking at the world from that point of view. And creating win-win solutions for everyone.


1 People feel good about themselves.

2 They are deeply engaged in activity.

3 This activity ensures they are connected to the greater good.

4 They work together.

5 And beyond their own narrow group.


1 A willingness and ability to participate in rational debate leading to a conclusion.

2 Understanding the difference between constructive debate and personal attacks.

3 Avoidance of identifying ourselves so personally with a particular position that this in itself excludes constructive debate.

4 Preparedness to being swayed by the arguments of others and admitting mistakes.

5 Relative freedom from any overriding dogma or ideology which would preclude listening to the views of others.

6 Trust, confidence and optimism in other people’s expertise and knowledge.

7 Confidence in the mechanisms and processes of decision-making that we establish, accepting that the decisions of the majority are paramount.

8 An acceptance that ‘you win some, you lose some’; it’s usually nothing personal and there’s really no point in taking defeats to heart.

Democracy is the art of thinking independently together” Alexander Meikljohn

(From Independents for Frome)


1 Abide wholeheartedly by the spirit and letter of the Seven Principles of Public Life set out by Lord Nolan in 1995 : selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

2 Be guided by considered evidence, our real world experience and expertise, our constituencies and our consciences.

3 Be free from the control of any political party, pressure group or whip.

4 Be non-discriminatory, ethical and committed to pluralism.

5 Make decisions transparently and openly at every stage and level of the political process, enabling people to see how decisions are made and the evidence on which they are based.

6 Listen : consult our communities constantly and innovatively.

7 Treat political opponents with courtesy and respect, challenging them when we believe they are wrong, and agreeing with them when we believe they are right.

8 Resist abuses of power and patronage and promote democracy at every level.

9 Work with other elected independents as a group, with a chosen spokesperson.

10 Claim expenses, salaries and compensation openly so the public can judge the value for money of our activities.

(From Independents for Frome)






Sean Prentice

I am tempted. I am thinking about it...


Pete Lawrence

Double thumbs up..


Suzi Glantz

Go for it Sean! You'll be great.


Sean Prentice

Well Suzi/and Pete...Layla and I were speaking about this very possibility couple of days ago. I want to - yet, as a disabled person reliant benefits, who unschools his unvaccinated child, sees dead people and has marginal spiritual beliefs...I feel I am - we are as a family - in too much of a liminial and, more to the point, vulnerable position (did you hear about the Brighton unschooler family who were interviewed in the Metro last year and ripped to bits, then after they were on TV they got a visit from Social Services As much as I'd like to do this, very regretfully I don't think I can. Possibly if Layla wasn't in the middle of a PIP assessment right now I'd think again, but that's how it is. As a family we have too much on our plate.

I am making a sad face now.


Suzi Glantz

Of course, I totally understand. Such a bummer that our current society/media etc does it's best to prevent us being true to ourselves!


Pete Lawrence

It's a great shame. I think you would have turned such a strong spotlight on the plight of liminal, vulnerable people and shown so many people the other side of this particular coin. I think we would have been able to get a lot of national media coverage too. Please reconsider, if there is any chance, @Sean Prentice - we'd make sure you had as much support as we could possible give.

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