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, Charles Eisenstein, Jason Hine, 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)


Co-operative home ownership : new directions in housing


I've just set up a Project to explore the idea of a shared equity property co-operative and looking for collaborators.

With an ageing population (anyone else noticed the reluctance of many people to talk about this?) and the rising impact this brings to the health service, as well as a variety of studies focusing on the impact of loneliness, the time is right to consider what the future of housing might look like, building sustainable communities that tackle the problems of isolation and put the concept of community firmly back on the agenda.

As some of you may know, my prospective property purchase (a flat and shop in Hay on Wye) fell through last month because of complications with the paperwork and time pressure from the vendor. Having broadened my search parameters online to properties in various locations, usually away from the more expensive south east, I’ve reached the conclusion that there’s very little out there that appeals at the moment with the amount I have to spend as a cash buyer.

So I have decided to explore the idea of a shared equity co-operative and have created a Project on Campfire to look for collaborators. The idea would be to buy with (ideally) one or two more people, ideally putting in a similar amount cash each (though this can be flexible and doesn't have to be an equal amount), which would give us collective access to much more interesting and flexible properties, ideally something which already has income or potential income or a smallholding or farm with outbuildings. It might be a space where we can foster creativity through thinkshop/workshops, potential Campfire-related courses and learning opportunities, and (of course!) put on small events too, without having to do a lot of repair / structural work. Geographically I’d be interested in Dorset, Somerset, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Welsh borders as first priorities, rural or small town rather than city, fresh air and countryside accessible (I'm attracted to places such as Frome, Hay, Lewes as examples). But would consider other locations with relatively quick access to central England and London.

A superfast broadband connection is a priority although it doesn’t always sit well with the rural location idea. A happy medium is probably the optimum, at least until this country's government gets its finger out in regard to good internet access for all.

I've started a list of other essentials and priorities and would be happy to chat with anyone who is interested and might have similar ideas. It's about balancing the idea of living collectively with adequate personal space and privacy. This isn't about cheap rent, housing co-ops or communes; it's more to do with modern-day solutions : practical, ecological, progressive ways of making a more exciting living space work for a few of us, sharing and pooling creative ideas, dividing up areas of responsibility and working out flexible but sensible agreements should anyone wish to opt-out. 




Suzi Glantz

Sounds a great idea Pete - I've looked into similar ideas over the past few years! Have my own views on it of course and would love to discuss it further. As you know I've been looking for land to either share or just build on myself. However, the cost is prohibitive. You mention the sum of £300,000 - my budget only stretches to maximum £170,000. so unless your figure is much more flexible or more people come on board it might not be a possibility for me. xx


Pete Lawrence

Yes, totally flexible @Suzi Glantz That was a rough estimate of my own input but they don't have to be equal. Would love to discuss it more - must organise a trip to Malvern.


Suzi Glantz

Great! Let's talk further S


Suzi Glantz

Great @pete lawrence-admin (pete-admin)! Let's talk sx


Suzi Glantz

Is this the sort of property you're thinking of?


Suzi Glantz

Is this the sort of property you're thinking of?


Pete Lawrence

Yes, was initially thinking of a higher budget, which would gain more space if bought collectively. Worth a chat (and maybe a viewing too)


Suzi Glantz

Check out the other one higher up the page too! I'm up for some viewings. Did check out Dorset which is a county I really love but would definitely need much higher budget there!
I'm up for some viewings - when were you thinking? Any other interest so far other than myself? x


Ralph Pettingill

Hi Pete- I envy you this project- it just happens not to be in my part of the country at the moment. In terms of ideas, it might be worth looking at the Lancaster Co-housing project. I know folk who live there and have also visited. Have a look at their website (and even go for a visit. They bring together several of the elements that you're interested in , including a shared work space housing local projects and initiatives, linking them with their local community. They commissioned the project as a whole and it's about as eco friendly as you could imagine.


Elizabeth Meres

I am have been looking into co-operative housing for several years and am hoping to get a project off the ground near Hay-on-Wye. I would love to live in a co-operative and caring community. Bringing up my daughter as a sole parent with very little support has been isolating, and a recent serious illness made me realise how vulnerable we were. Unfortunately I have no capital to purchase any land and many of the people that I know that would be interested are in a similar situation. In my view housing should not just be for those that can afford it, but a community resource, with equality paramount. In Wales we have several One Planet developments, which are sustainable and low impact, but have previously only been possible if you have capital to invest. Very few of the co-operative housing initiatives have equality of access regardless of financial situation and there are few opportunities to rent. I'm looking into community land trusts as a way forward and am trying to get hold of public land or cheap land with no planning so that we can help meet local needs. I'd love to hear from anyone who has any expertise on this, or any ideas.


Beth Salmon

I think this is a fantastic idea...and I like the idea of home schooling community as well, where children are included in our work not separated from adults....where we all take responsibility to guide the future generation to ensure they are equipped with the skills to live on this beautiful planet without leaving toxicity in their wake....where we create new stories and rituals and music to celebrate our future and remember the mistakes from our past.....where we can live as the multi- dimensional beings that we are in peace without fear.....a community garden grown with permaculture principles to provide proper nutrition so we can become in tune with our instinctual selves not shut off from our higher selves with a diet of fake created from natural resources not the toxic buildings we have today....with fresh natural alive water not the chemical pumped liquid that we consume.....

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