Campfire Conversations

A Project inviting members to host their own Campfire Conversation events this summer, or to attend others' events.

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by Pete Lawrence
Created on 22 Feb 2017

With spring under way, our thoughts turn to outdoor activities and the campfire experience. We're heading out around the UK between late April and mid July in the build up to this year's Campfire Convention 00.UK event.

If you are up for hosting / organising a Campfire Conversation for this summer, have a read of the articles in this Project.

The gathering works best as a small, intimate afternoon or evening, preferably with an outdoor element (as we can then have a fire too), which can be a pub or arts centre, a back garden or a field. Ideal size I can range from 10-100 people and would involve discussion, debate, thinkshop, exhibition, ideas exchange and a knees-up element (live acoustic music or DJs) and a food / drink element, often communal cooking.



Wed, 02/22/2017

What are Campfire Conversation events?


If you like the idea of what Campfire is doing and want to put on a Campfire Conversation in your local area, either as a stand alone event or as part of a Campfire-curated club night or function then you may find these guidelines useful:

  • Find a venue and a concept that works for you.
  • Contact with your idea : ie - venue, hours, concept, door tax, ticketing.
  • If the date goes ahead with official CC status, you as 'local organiser' would take responsibility for any venue hire costs, local promotion, contractual arrangements, staffing and insurance and collect the ticket revenue. A deal would be worked out on any percentage profits with Campfire and / or members taking part in the event. The local organiser would be responsible for any loss.
  • The event would appear on Campfire’s official site and associated social media pages.
  • Introducing Campfire. There will be a brief script to read out about 'What is Campfire' 
  • If possible the discussion should be conducted in a circle, on one level (ie no stage)
  • Campfire would supply PR material - flyers, cards, posters/banners
  • Recording and archiving, a report of the event would be required within 7 days

For an event to qualify as a Campfire Conversation it should consist of a substantial element of talk, interview, debate, panel or discussion including Campfire accredited members.  It can also include film, audio visual performance, live music, DJs, theatre, mixed media. An actual campfire would be a bonus!  The event can also be a private function. All content and any proposed speakers / panellists should agreed with Campfire in advance.

Our first Campfire Conversation was staged in Manchester on November 20th, 2015 and organised by Paul Darnborough.

The concept of the Campfire Conversation took shape in the autumn of 2015 after discussions between Pete Lawrence and Paul Darnborough, after he invited Pete to come to Manchester. In November, the first Campfire Conversations were staged at The Carlton Club in Whalley Range, Manchester. The evening was a mix of traditional club night with a spoken word hour in which Paul interviewed Pete about his plans for the community and also delved back into the days of The Big Chill, where some of the lineage for ideas carried through to the present day were first formulated.

Other Campfire Conversations have taken place in Todmorden May 4th 2016, Yorkshire; Nottingham on May 6th 2016, Beatherder Festival, Lanchashire (July 17 2016); Hartlepool Folk Festival (October 22nd, 2016) , Musicport Festival in Whitby (October 23rd, 2016)

We are keen for the 'Conversation' idea to evolve to the point that various members of the team can take the initiative and talk about the project, as it unfolds.

If you are interested in hosting a Campfire Conversation please email