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 : most valuable


Mark Drury "Meeting everyone and getting a feel for the future we intend to build"

Kimm Fearnley : Making contacts and new like-minded friends. Finding myself involved in a new, exciting community. Loved the talks, workshops, sense of community and the dancing!

Stephen Mitchelson : Listening to Scilla Elworthy and starting to believe in a different way of structuring society

Ian Doody : Meeting new people/ friends. Laughter The beautiful location/site

Marva Lord : I liked the way the event was organized setting the tone for an inclusive growth. I liked that it inspired and rejuvenated everyone who attended that I spoke with afterwards, at a time when so many were feeling a bit adrift after the referendum vote

Elizabeth Carter: Meeting new people, hearing stories from real people on the ground doing real stuff.

Val Wilson : The people and the debates on immigration

Ralph Pettingill : The profoundly hopeful and practical ideas for action to change our world.. all the presentations and speakers were excellent

Satkartar Kennedy : loved Brian Eno he said re USA election choice between clinton & Trump.....not really a choice...yes we need alternative candidates and new ways....totally outdated all this government stuff now, tide turning..liked debates but missed a lot as wasn’t feeling great whilst i was there.....would’ve liked later yoga sessions

David Brown : Chilling around the fire with extraordinary people

David Carter : Brian Eno's address and live music.

Caroline Gerstad : The key speakers were very good

Louise Scrivens : The Clean Questions workshop is the thing that I have integrated into my everyday life, in coaching with work and in my personal interests. It's a very useful skill, so skills workshops.

Leigh Rush : Will Pound was fantastic. I really enjoyed Brain Eno's speech. I thought it was insightful.

Phillip Tierney : Meeting with like minded people who want to make a difference

Dawn Wermerling : Open discussions and tolerance of each other's views. The variety of speakers and entertainment.

Colin Consterdine : The people who were there and the ideas that were flying around and the great music

Nadia Chambers : Such a wide range of well informed and engaging speakers. And a fantastic Saturday night dance set

Laura Plain : Universal income talk bought home to me how restrained my creative ambitions had been though always having to work long and constant shifts to simply put a roof over my head and food on the table .. food for thought , extremely interesting subject and having so many people from different backgrounds on the panel was refreshing. Greg Wilson played a blinder of a set that felt so appropriate to the feel of the weekend. The pub over the river was a lovely part of the weekend. Last but of course not least the Campfire ! A wonderful space x

Susanna Piohtee: Oh crikey! I came for the conversations; and.... really enjoyed the music element. Should have included this next bit previously: The Q&A sessions on the large stage were rather inhibiting for those of us introverts who don't feel comfortable 'getting up to go and stand in full view behind a mike'....but who might have interesting things to say :)

Philip Craig Ingham : Meeting like minded people with passion about critical matters that world governments seem to ignore

Jo King : Brian Eno and the main stage talks were great, as well as Sunday's pow wow/debrief.

Rachael Bardoe : Now that is a question. It had opened my eyes to new topics that I want to investigate, people that I want to spend more time with, a life that I knew that I needed to change - but the urgency of that had now been illuminated 

Becca Kirkpatrick : Good idea, good to hear panelists tho shame some did not come. Fire good, music good. 

James Rock: Meeting people. Hearing and sharing ideas.

Danny Burns : Being able to have political discussions in a very open and curious way without getting locked into positions

Allan Jolly : Experiencing views not held by myself, opening my mind to new ways of thinking and hearing very personal accounts of activism in action

Barb Jacobson : Having a chance to speak in depth to a variety of people about the issues we care about

Mark Drury : Meeting everyone and getting a feel for the future we intend to build

Debbie Golt : Being there! restoring and recharging in such a friendly and manageable sized festival. I loved chairing the panels I did and I hope people got good vibes and felt informed, entertained, and heard! reconnecting with friends long unseen and sharing times with both dear longterm friends and new ones met more recently through organising Campfire; Brilliant open right to the heart of the matter chats at every turn. Great input from people, ordinarily stars who were very accessible. The last 'plenary ' and its different presentation. The FIRE!!

Neil Thomson : Context set by Brian Eno / hearing about the experiences of people involved in supporting refugees / informal conversations with other campfire participants

Scilla Elworthy : Friendliness. Brian Eno's talk. The forum on refugees. The campfire

Julie G : The keynote speech on Sunday morning; I loved the folk singer from Lancashire and I had a good sing in the pub with Sam Lee who I think could be invited to talk about the song collectors collective next year

Kath Cockshaw : The site layout worked well and pub at the heart of it all was great

Vicky Connaughton : Learning more about activism.

Sarah Rust : The talks, the book recommendations - the brilliant people, the humour. It was fantastic to be somewhere where children were so well regarded and welcomed and therefore engaged. The pub! Calls to action - Refugee panel. Ed Dowding. Scilla Elworthy

Anita Jeffery : Generally the speakers were of good calibre - thought provoking and /or informative and eye opening - which is what we want and need! Really good sized site..well laid out. Great not to have the commercial aspect (stalls)…but could have maybe had more campaigning/info stalls? 

Mat Dakin : I think the atmosphere and pace were ideal for people to get to know one another. The location and the countryside provided an oasis of calm to allow people to absorb themselves in the experience

Rachel Woodward : The friendly vibe. The lack of shouty notices telling us what to do and not to do. The helpful event staff. The speakers, of course. The variety of sessions. and of course the music

Martin Twigg : I really enjoyed the discussions and the friendly atmosphere

Mike Abbott : Scilly Elworthy, by far the best event

Rowena Harte : Listening to speakers who were 'switched on' and interacting with genuine, forward-thinking people.

Pete Anderson : The people! The chance to meet, chat and interact with so many interesting and motivated people. The workshops also helped this ability to meet people who I otherwise wouldn't have.




Kimm Fearnley

So many lovely comments. X


Debbie Golt

Excellent feel for the event and a great validation of what it was hoping to achieve and what can be confidently carried forward. Interesting comment about the panel format which I think was addressed in a way with the more equal format in the last session. Really lovely to relive it with these two survey round ups.


Pete Lawrence

Yes, the more I think about it, the less 'right' I feel about using stages at all.. for anything! Sam Lee's own bring together top line musicians - check the line up! around a fire. The panel format works best for me on the level too, @DebbieGoltOuterglobe

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