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, Charlie Brooker, James Veitch, Mac Macartney


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


Reimagining our World : Our Convention Thinkshops


Campfire holds its first London event on Saturday November 4th - all day at the Union Chapel - historically known as a venue of non-conformist values - to celebrate the official launch of our online network. We have much to talk about. The theme of our day is Reimagining Our World and subjects range from politics to food, co-operative ways of working to new designs for education. 

Tickets are available now

We hope to have a keynote speech as well as six panels, held in two spaces - the Upper and Lower Halls, as well as lunch and refreshments included in the ticket price.

We are developing the Thinkshop panels as we speak. These listings are subject to further change and additions and we'd welcome your input and suggestions over the next week or so before we finalise : 

Campfire Convention 002.UK : London Conversation : Saturday November 4th

Upper Lecture Hall

  • Welcome
  • THINKSHOP 1 (10.20-11.50) Reimagining politics – a slow burn or revolution?

Is the existing political party duopoly past its sell by date and is it time to sweep it aside and usher in a new way of doing politics, which also involves a new story, new ways of political thinking and new democratic processes? Is it a slow burn process to persuade people that it can be done differently or do we need a revolution?

Brian Eno said “"I come to Campfire because I'm interested in new social ideas, how we can run the world, how we can think differently about things. I've met a lot people at Campfire who have specific and very exciting projects that really are to do with re-thinking democracy and understanding that democracy means ruled by the community, it doesn't mean what we have now.

A toxic ideology of extreme competition and individualism has come to dominate our world. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better future.

George Monbiot's new book ‘Out of the Wreckage’ looks at how democracy and economic life can be radically organised from the bottom up. He argues that the "society-crushing system of neoliberalism has destroyed our natural capacity for altruism", and that we must fight against it to create "a politics of belonging that revives community and returns land to the people as a source of common wealth". We need meaningful participatory democracy, a political agenda "that isn’t destined to destroy the living planet", and power given back to people so that wealth isn't continually distributed to the rich. 

@Indra Adnan, The Alternative UK

Dr Richard Barbrook, Labour party, Games For The Many

@Kimm Fearnley, Campfire Bournemouth Beacon

@Derek Richards, freelance arts and media producer

@Ed Dowding,

13.00-14.00 LUNCH including performance from Liv Torc 13.40 and Jez Allerton / Planet Zim 13.45

  • THINKSHOP 3 (14.00-15:30) Building sustainable enterprises to support change in the sharing age

The challenge of our moment is to reconnect : to ourselves, to others and to the Earth through our endeavours. We have to consider all aspects of sustainability : the environment, economics and social equity and we have to include as many people and voices as possible so that the decisions we make are able to bring about systemic change. How can Campfire’s membership model become a pointer for sustainable communities, both online and in real-life? How much can our Beacons achieve at local level?

@Sally Hughes , Founder Share Cardiff

@Luke Flegg, The Dignity Platform

@Pete Lawrence 

On sustainable communities (check one of many excellent articles by Sally Hughes for inspiration)

  • 15.40 – 16.20 Afternoon ideas keynote : Harmony, balance and human kind

    Martin Nelson  was the inventor of London’s first ever cycle route and has recently designed the C25, a collection of "arcs and spokes” around London making up a series of recreational rides for the adventurous cyclist. EQ uses the spring and autumn equinoxes as annual moments of total equality on the planet for all mankind. In marking these moments, twice a year every year, perhaps we as humans can put aside all divisions of border, race, religion and difference and unite for the good of the planet and mankind.


    Michael Solomon Williams initiated a musicians’ response to the result of the Brexit referendum and tragic loss of Jo Cox in 2016 that grew into the Common and Kind charitable single 'Human Kind' and several live concerts at the Union Chapel in 2016/2017. The message of Common and Kind has synergy with Martin’s EQ in its message that "we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than that which divides us”.

  • THINKSHOP 5  (16.45-17.45) Keeping the fires burning : Campfire initiatives

Forward with Campfire via our Campfire Conversations, Projects and Beacons

Our Membership Offer

Technical development

How can we use the Kudos scheme to reward engagement and input?



Chair : @Ruth Wallsgrove, Campfire Team

@Lou Mycroft, Indepedent Thinker

@Pete Lawrence Campfire Founder and Firestarter

@Manda Graham, Director Equal Vision CIC, Campfire Malvern Hills Beacon

@Ralph Pettingill 

Lower Lecture Hall


  • THINKSHOP 2 (10.40-12.10): Let’s work together

Relationships are key and who we meet, often randomly, have a fundamental impact on our lives. Co-housing schemes and co-working spaces are helping the switch to systems more based on collective values. As an online community that also does ‘real life’ events, how can Campfire play its part in developing guidelines for how we relate to each other and how we can develop work initiatives together?

How does the future looks with AI, bartering exchange systems, crypto-currencies, Patreon

How do we fund our collective work?

Mod : @Ruth Wallsgrove, Campfire Team 

Ben O’Sullivan, Postlip co-housing

@Suzanne Noble, Advantages of Age



  • THINKSHOP 4 (13:45-15:40) Food is a perfect storm of fashion and politics

Food production is now so geared towards making profits for shareholders and corporations that it has lost site of its primary purpose – nourishment, wellbeing and feeding our world at its most basic level. We discuss how fashion and politics are shaping what we consume and how important the choices we make are in keeping us connected us with the land and our communities.

Richard Garnett, The Community Farm, Somerset

@Jonathan Leighton, Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering

@Mia Manners , Campfire London Beacon

Lester Manners, Grassroots farmer

  • THINKSHOP 5 New Designs on Education (16.00-17.30)

In many ways, education is at an all-time low and in need of a complete shake up. There is no more time to tinker around the edges. We need an innovative rethink and a new imagining about how learning in the 21st Century can engage our children, young people and indeed our educators. We explore new concepts and visions for a future where young people are given trust and respect and are empowered to take ownership over their learning and therefore their futures. Because their futures are ultimately ours as well. 

@Julia Black, Explorium

@Lizzie Jackson, Director of Research, School of Arts and Creative Industries, London South Bank University

@Lehla Eldridge, alternative learning author, illustrator, painter and actress

@Lou Mycroft, Independent thinker

Check out two articles by panellists

A Project from @Julia Black : Are you learning with your lights on or off?

and from @Lehla Eldridge 

  • Evening Social

A separate evening social is happening in another venue. Soundcsapes by Bruce Bickerton

Making new best friends is essentially at the heart of the Campfire experience and I’m looking forward to seeing more sparks created by our new and existing members meeting and up and exchanging thoughts and ideas. The social side of Campfire is often where the real talking gets done, so with that in mind, I have found a good separate pub function room venue which is 0.5 miles away (11 minutes walk) for an evening Campfire Convivial. It’s the function room at Hemingford Arms and tickets are available now in even more limited quantity (50 only - strictly first come first served). The event ticket will include a free bar for the earliest arrivals. 

See ticket options for very limited booking.

  • Food

Lunch will feature veggie and vegan options - consisting of homemade quiche and coleslaw and a selection of sandwiches with fruit, or crisps, as well as tea and coffee throughout the day included in the ticket price.

The Margins Project provides the catering at Union Chapel - a charity that works with those experiencing homelessness, crisis or isolation in Islington. They run two weekly drop-ins providing food, showers and advice on benefits and housing and also run a winter night shelter for up to 15 guests. They offer support groups such as art, a job club and therapy and run a kitchen training programme, offering paid employment to 12 formerly marginalised trainees over the course of the year. They prepare and serve the food for the concert goers and daytime hirers at Union Chapel. After the programme they transition the trainees into further training or employment.


Tickets for all events are limited - the events page is here, ticket booking page directly available here

More about Campfire




Eileen Inglis

Looks fantastic and I'm really looking forward to it all!


Pete Lawrence

Thanks for the feedback, @Eileen Inglis .. still a little bit more to add but I have to say that I’m excited too...

More From Pete Lawrence