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)


Campfire 001.UK Survey : How would you describe Campfire to your friends?


Kimm Fearnley : Campfire was unlike any other festival I have attended. It was a well-thought out mix of inspirational, informative talks and workshops alongside music, dance and a social event. A wonderful opportunity to meet new and like-minded people with common goals and visions. A meeting of minds, a sharing of talents and knowledge and a energy and desire for change for common good. Highly motivating, levelling and inspiring.

Marva Lord : An uplifting,inspiring and fun event.

Stephen Mitchelson : A mix of the spirit, people and great music of the Big Chill with thought provoking panels and workshops.

Ian Doody : Civilised, well organised small festival - the meeting of like minded people & friends.

Elizabeth Carter : A great combination of thought provoking discussion, interactive sessions, really cool music, lovely people in a glorious setting.

Val Wilson : Awesome, inspirational, unmissable.

Ralph Pettingill : An excellent, thought provoking, stimulating and well organised event. The whole experience was hopeful- I met so many interesting, thoughtful people and made new friends. I joined the volunteer team, which really added to my appreciation and enjoyment of the event. 

Brian Eno : I've had a great time. I see the complete collapse of conventional politics and I'm coming to look for a place where people are starting to think about different and bigger questions. It's nice to be with a group of people who are thinking and talking about those things and from very unusual perspectives, some perspectives that I haven't heard before. I think people will leave here with some sense of optimism that they're not alone in their thinking and their discontent with the way things are running, but I've met a lot of people here who are doing specific and very exciting projects that really are to do with re-thinking democracy. 

Satkartar Kennedy : Good gathering of people you might find difficult to meet generally all in one idyllic place …

David Brown : Activist Chill. A really good I.J (intellect jockey) set.

David Carter : Thought provoking, good music and company. Different.

Louise Scrivens : An interesting gathering talking about grass roots activism and social issues, with some useful workshops. Evening entertainment is fun and the campfire generates much interesting conversation. The people attending are friendly and committed to changing things, if your interested in upping your slacktivism to activism but unsure where to start this is a great place to find out more.

Phillip Tierney : A gathering of people who really care what is really happening in our world. 

Leigh Rush : A unique blend of politics, music and arts/crafts in beautiful countryside.

Dawn Wermeling : A unique, plausible, intimate festival in the Brecon Beacons with music, relaxation and thought provoking discussions with like minded people. It was fun, interesting and inspirational for all ages. 

Colin Consterdine : A chilled out space for meeting like minds, being inspired and thinking. Overall there is a real emaphasis on quality of experience.

Nadia Chambers : One of a kind and a real meeting of kindred spirits. 

Laura Plain : A think-tank chilled event with some music in a beautiful setting.

Susana Piohtee : A great way to mix fun, socialising, networking, and serious conversation.

Philip Craig Ingham : A great place to find information and listen to music and pass on ideas whilst sitting around campfires or join in group play.

Jo King : Worth exploring, well intentioned, friendly, sparse.

Rachael Bardoe : Inspiring, soul searching, engaging, like finding your tribe. Incredibly social.

Becca Kirkpatrick : Small, quite middle class, innovative..

James Rock : A meeting of minds. A chance to join the conversation. An opportunity to learn. A place for fun. An event where you will make new friends.

Danny Burns : I found it to be a great mix of political debate, networking and music. I was happy to meet a lot of people who were engaged in practical change projects and not just talking. I think that the format for some of the conversations could be more participatory and I would be happy to help in the design. 

Allan Jolly : Interesting, challenging, enjoyable..

Barb Jacobson : A lovely opportunity to connect with a variety of people in the countryside!

Mark Drury : The best chance I've had to spend time with like-minded people ever!

Debbie Golt : Beautiful setting, not too big - tho room for more people, brilliant programme of events with good timings between them, openhearted and genuine discussions, well chaired with opportunities to take part and be heard. Music was great selection and loved the interludes. Good set up with no bleeds. Lovely mix of people with the most amazing conversations at every point - growing from the sessions and with the vibe. Bridge Inn such a great place too with excellent food and such good heart from the publicans and their staff handling large numbers with great ease. The Saturday night groove with DJ Greg Wilson was truly legendary. Well being taken care of too with yoga and massage opportunities and some lovely installations. The last session was brilliant with everyone able to say what they thought. Come with me next year!!

Neil Thomson : Thoughtful and enjoyable weekend with friendly people in beautiful countryside

Scilla Elworthy : Brilliant. People sized. Deeply friendly Essential information. Good times. Great music. memorable conversations. Do not miss!

Julie G : a heartening mix of serious discussion, uplifting talks and merry music. 

Kath Cockshaw : A warm, open atmosphere for learning, listening and reflection, with the potential to be a space for 'doing’.

Vicky Connaughton : Interesting workshops in beautiful setting

Anita Jeffrey : It was good to hear some inspirational ideas at a festival and go away with some new angles to think about and to have less of a music bombardment! The festival did lack what i expected - which was round the campfire exchanges. I expected discussion groups. I would tell friends that i am sure this will be addressed at the next Convention. The other 12 friends in our camp all felt the same re this. But we still enjoyed it overall. 

Mat Dakin : A meeting of all types of people interested in community, change, networking, learning, conversation and fun.

Rachel Woodward : A relaxed, political and musical weekend with people from different backgrounds but similar interests and intentions.

Martin Twigg : A mix of music and musings in a beautiful place. 

Mike Abbott : A gathering of people who want to change the world for the better.

Rowena Harte : An opportunity to meet like-minded people and discuss ideas, in beautiful surroundings. 

Pete Anderson : A meeting of open hearted interesting people- everyone had a story. Interesting workshops & discussions on how to make the world a better place.

Sarah Rust : A festival, a celebration of sharing, learning and freeing ourselves to dare to think that collectively we can dream and action a better future.







Eileen Inglis

Wow - wish I'd been there to experience all of that!!


Kimm Fearnley

Lovely comments! Such a great weekend. X


Debbie Golt

Interesting round up. There are some great 'sound bites' - 'word bites' even for future use. And the slightly critical one about campfire discussions is useful. As ever Scilla gets it in one!

More From Pete Lawrence