Pete Lawrence
@firestarter / Trailblazer member / Founder member


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, 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)


Pete Lawrence
24 November 2020, 17:17
Campfire is already syndicating the works of a variety of thought-provoking writers. We are aiming to build a diverse and rounded selection of viewpoints from visionary creative thinkers and critical observers who we think our community members will enjoy reading and learning from.. 
Pete Lawrence
24 November 2020, 12:14
Campfire Eco networking Zoom edited recording (November 21, 2020) with introduction from Jason Hine, exploring possibilities for new realities around eco-villages and eco-communities. Visit for related information and articles.
Pete Lawrence
24 November 2020, 08:19

Some links to ecovillage communities, networks, sustainability campaigners, alternative off-grid living in Greece.

If you know of websites, communities or other resources we should add to this page of bookmarks, please message @Pete Lawrence or email

Thanks x

Pete Lawrence
20 November 2020, 20:11
The week of release for a long-overdue film by Alex Winter documenting the life of Frank Zappa seems like a suitable time to re-assess the man's work. And quite a body of work it is too; one which in time will surely be seen as one of the most important musical catalogues of an era. Zappa was unique as a visionary and extraordinary in his many musical accomplishments. Here is my pick of his extensive solo and Mothers of Invention catalogue.
Pete Lawrence
18 November 2020, 07:44
A downloadable audio Firecast of the first Campfire Convention Zoom 'Eco Networking' with Jason Hine and details of the second one...
Emily Rose Croucher and likes
23 November 2020, 15:43
Pete Lawrence
16 November 2020, 05:47
Exploring how we co-create ecovillages, ecovillage networks and housing co-operatives; all the other things that we need to shift to an ancient future presence on earth that can happen in a magical abundant supportive fruitful place, such as Greece, as a blueprint for doing this all over the world.
Pete Lawrence - Update
3 weeks 14 hours ago
Pete Lawrence
4 November 2020, 06:44
As electoral turmoil, lockdown and polarity play out in all corners of the world, Campfire writer Jason Hine is looking towards Greece as a place where a shift to an ancient future presence on earth can happen in a magical abundant supportive fruitful place.