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)


Frome Beacon pushes positive news agenda


It was a glorious sunny spring afternoon in Frome, but that didn't stop the Campfire faithful coming out to play at Rye Bakery for the first Sunday Experience.

Campfire's Sunday Experience  event in Frome brought together talks, how to sessions, singing and live music. 'How do we create something in community that can catch on nationwide to inspire other communities?' was one of our discussion topics along with @Dana Amma-Day talking about positive news. Borrowed Light played live and Tallulah Rendall led the Campfire Circle Singers in a rousing after dinner session to finish the evening. 

After a deep and moving opening set from Frome trio Borrowed Light with highlights including their cover of 'Daydream' by Wallace Collection and a John Lennon's 'Oh My Love', @Dana Amma-Day  led the charge with a talk on positive news, centring around the agenda for her own enterprise and how she is working alongside Campfire to highlight a positive news agenda. This promoted a discussion on the merits and social media and pitfalls of social media and of mainstream media reporting of the news. 

We moved onto How To's which included some creative suggestions : How to use Campfire Convention website social media platform, How do we engage in social media with out being over loaded, How do we recycle plastic, How do we wiggle our ears, How do we work with our boundaries, How do we Plant Trees, How do we help national rail with leaves on the line?, How do we sharpen a knife?, How do we create something in community that can catch on nationwide to inspire other communities, How to we Live and How do we Die.

We decided to break into two tables, one discussing how we get the best out of social media which looked into the question of engagement, into addiction and techniques used by platforms who base their business model around advertising and the 'free' model and discussed Campfire and how it is different from other platforms in that is running real life meet ups in parallel and promoting an agenda geared towards building resources and social change. The sharing economy was discussed and how to engage other members of Campfire. We didn't come up with any obvious answers as it was agreed that time spent learning how to best use the platform is the way to be most creative and productive, but we all lead busy lives.... @David Tanner talked about initiatives that have already engaged him following March's Campfire meeting in Frome.

In the other session, we discussed how do we create something in the community that has impact and that can be rolled out nation wide to other communities. @Ben Gray and @Cate Gray proposed this question then shared their idea and project of a Community Forest - a forest for the community to walk in, heal, be part of nature, be buried there, give birth there, hold events there and create a forest for all communities for many generations to come.

We discussed the idea and how we could motivate Frome to do this, following on from recent announcements of the councils plans to start a community orchard.

We discussed how it needed to be set up was it a Community Forest Trust, what type of business would it be to raise monies, find land and buy in to the concept from local government and or farmers who have land.

We then discussed how to make the idea known or proposed by making a film, writing a story, starting a campaign, finding other projects out in the UK that may already exists or even from around the world like in France they have community forests and Japan healing forests.

We concluded that maybe this was a project for Campfire Beacon Frome to get behind and maybe demonstrate at the date for Rye Bakery during the Frome Arts Festival week in association with The Tree Conference who are holding their conference in October in Frome.

The evening finished with an hour of Circle Singing led in fine style by Tallulah Rendall - we started with meditation and grounding, some limbering up exercises and holding vocal chords with breaths, before exploring a Heart Sutra which also brought in Hey Jude, followed by rousing versions of the gospelly 'I'm Thankful' and 'Leap of Faith'.  And therein lies the joy of spontaneity... As Tallulah puts it "A Heart Sutra / Hey Jude mash up... who knew this could work! Beauty of improvisation."





Dana Amma-Day

Thank you Pete, So enjoyed the event and so looking forward to the next one. @loving campfire convention x

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