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, Arundhati Roy, Tony Benn, Richard D.Wolff, Daniel Pinchbeck, Bill Drummond, Jonathan Pie, Derek Jarman, Monty Python, Offshore pirate radio, John Peel, Margaret Attwood, Cecil Sharp, Tom Middleton, Alan James, Greta Thunberg, Greek culture, James Veitch, Mac Macartney


Campfire Convention (founder / firestarter), The Big Chill (co-founder), Cooking Vinyl (founder)


Greek island Campfire?


Following some favourable pressure on another social network, interest has been expressed in organising a week or long weekend in the Cyclades, as a Campfire gathering and possible Big Chill reunion too. Would you be interested in coming?

It's now now 15 years since the last of three Big Chill parties in Naxos. They were glorious, spontaneous, wayward affairs that were life-changing for many. I know of at least ten marriages and long term partnerships that came out of those events, as well as lifelong friendships and partnership break-ups too. the first year even co-incided with the Greek ferry disaster which made the front pages of our papers back home and all over the world. We missed it by one day! I've written a chapter on these momentous events in my forthcoming book but in the meantime, I'm wondering whether the time is right to go back out there and celebrate a different age and mood. 

As some of you know, I have connections to the neighbouring island of Paros and would be prepared to look into finding a hotel venue that can host us in late September / early October at the end of the season (I'm travelling to the island in April). The weather is usually still warm and sunny and around 20-25 degrees by day with most evenings still suitable for outdoor activity. 

In Campfire style we would organise conversations, talks and panels in the daytime and party under the stars after dinner. 

If you're interested in coming or helping organise, let's discuss it here. 

If not this year, maybe next?





Pete Lawrence

Me? Or you surely @Sharon Prendergast ?


Sharon Prendergast

Predictive text....this phone is driving me mad!

Yes, it's me. Quite excited really. :-)


Sharon Prendergast

Sounds interesting and fun ... Provided I can juggle dates and finances. I have been elected to go to the Labour covered in September so possible clash, however.


Nadia Chambers

Depending on dates - yes!

More From Pete Lawrence