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)


Entering the post capitalist era


Any new thinking that is described by The Telegraph as "deeply misguided" must be worth at least a second look and that's certainly the case for postcapitalist theory. Paul Mason's book, published in early 2016 sets out its stall and offers a variety of perspectives - economically, socially and politically - arguaing the case that it is time to move forward and adopt new models. Mason's conclusions point to a point in time when we should be seeking ways of ushering in the postcapitalist economy by :

- Ditching neoliberalism

- Suppressing high finance

- Reversing austerity

- Investing in green energy

- Promoting high waged work

Paul Mason says "Once capitalism can no longer adopt to technological change, postcapitalism becomes necessary. We need a coherent project based on reason, evidence and testable designs, one that cuts with the grain of economic history and is sustainable in terms of our planet. And we need to get on with it."

Paul outlines ideas for a new holistic model, one that eschews high finance, low wages, secrecy, militarism, intellectual property, carbon-based energy, the 'democracy' of riot squads, corrupt politicians, magnate-controlled newspapers, the survelliance state, shareholder profit as a primary motivator and  replaces it with something more dynamic, based around a new kins of human being who is educated and connected. Work done at the design stage can reduce mistakes in the implementation stage, using a modular project design ethos.

"The network effect" .. the more people join the network, the more useful it becomes to everybody.  The new communication networks put the means of production into the hands of many people. They can blog, make movies, distribute them, self-publish e-books and create a million-strong audience before the traditional publishers know they even exist. Stuff that human beings value can now be done by individuals who interact with each other socially rather than as market actors through the price system. This leads to the rise of non-market mechanisms via decentralised action by individuals working through co-operatives and voluntary forms of organisation and creates new forms of 'peer to peer' economics - money is either absent or not the main measure of value.

Collaborative production comes to the fore, there are no property or management hierarchies.





Simon Brookes

Interesting read.

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