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 Convention 001.UK : Digital Democracy panel


The opening panel at Campfire Convention 001.UK 13/08/16 

Let The Grand Correction Commence. Digital democracy and social change.

Debbie Golt, Marva Jackson Lord, Ed Dowding, Richard Thanki

BRIEF: We are at a crossroads in a time of fundamental change. People who have felt disenfranchised are re-engaging with politics and asking themselves what do we want and how do we make it real? The process of change starts with ideas, articulating big visions and bringing people together in consensus. 

Social change is about movements and we ask what role technology is playing in these, whether Syriza, Corbyn or Sanders. As more and more people look to social media for their news, particularly when they are seeking opinion, what does the future of media offer?

How do we define true democracy in the age of the information economy when what we mostly see is  a dressed up corporatocracy, extracting power and wealth from us all? A more radical, direct democracy with online voting on major issues with a reformed and truly free media must surely form a cornerstone of such change. From a broad policy perspective many of us would like to see national infrastructure run, used and owned by the people, not the state, not private enterprise, a concerted move on a national scale to renewable technology, and sustainable business and the ideas of permaculture being given a much higher profile than superficial consumer capitalism as we progress from a top-down society. 

We ask what are the signs that we have reached an era of postcapitalism and what does the future look like as it starts to play out?

How can Campfire play its part?

Marva Jackson Lord is a writer and social media strategist. In her kitchen she records poems, helps her children with their studies, sings karaoke, makes preserves and vanilla, and helps others with their web work. She sometimes produces events involving poetry and/or music in Hay-on-Wye. Born in Kingston, Jamaica; raised in Goderich, Ontario; evolved in Toronto. She is currently working on her first full collection of poetry

Ed Dowding is a passionate and innovative man, with an inspirational story. He founded FoodTrade and spends most of his time helping develop sustainable trade networks. He talks on democracy, technology, innovation, sustainability, hope and 21st century business patterns. His latest project – Represent, is about revolutionary democracy. “You answer questions, we make sure that decision-makers want to listen.”

Richard Thanki is a media and technology economist, now researches at the ICSS. He holds an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford and is currently reading for a PhD on the economics of infrastructure at the University of Southampton. His research focuses on the role played by infrastructure and shared resources in socio-economic systems, focussing especially on the quantification of abstract notions into models that can yield light on real-world issues.

Chair : Debbie Golt  MD ( is an internationally respected Arts consultant with a passion for Radio & Women's and African Music; Golt has been a panellist at WOMEX, In the City and Radio1 SoundCity. Her show The Outerglobe returns to in September. She's currently Chair of Women in Music.

Callapro Films

"A first class level of professionalism" - BBC Academy 

07702 886 149



More From Pete Lawrence