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)


Drink forest gardens - a short film about a festival that celebrates the abundant fruits of the land


"In the age where climate breakdown is happening, we desperately need more people on the land and more people building soil."


I've just put together a short film after returning from an amazing weekend out in the wild. The Old Tree Apple Festival was staged in glorious, life-affirming natural farmland in the foothills of Wales, hanging out and working on a cider farm which is gearing up for its vision as a permaculture demonstration farm. It was an inspirational weekend and I hope I've captured some of the magic here..

Here is my film of weekend, as ever, all done as a very DIY-style Firecast on an iPhone and edited in an evening using iMovie. Some of the interviews had to be cut due to loud wind rustling, but I've pulled together the best footage remaining and hope you enjoy it. 

I was unprepared for the sub zero temperatures at night - though almost everyone there seemed equipped with Arctic-style headgear and gloves. In a week where the UK weather seemed to skip a season and go from summer to winter, it was fantastic to be out in nature even though it was so cold at times and enjoying the bright moon, the cloudless starry skies and the glorious panoply of vivid autumn hues in the bright sunshine. 

Held on Three Pools permaculture farm on the Welsh borders near Abergavenny, this mini-festival is a model of what festivals of the future should be - held on the last weekend of October, the gathering was spontaneous, participatory, self-sufficient, eco-friendly, small and compact and was all about great conversations, tasty apple juice and cider, mulled cider, vegan feasts, yoga, tai chi, music, fire and straw bale games in stone barns and meadow land, a Saturday night ceilidh rave and featured showers and compost loos with a view, cider and cider vinegar making demonstrations, carbon neutral teas and coffees all weekend, and celebrating being in glorious nature and countryside. 

 Looking for solutions? Locally-made alternatives to mass-produced drinks...

In the film (above), we hear co-founder of the Old Tree Brewery Tom Daniell talking about his vision for establishing a brewery that is leading the way in terms of regenerating the land and healing the earth through encouraging communities to ferment and forage from local resources , Emily Rose talks about her fermentation workshops and we eavesdrop on the architect behind the ceilidh raves, Harry Abel.

As Tom says, "the solutions remain embarrassingly simple - just observe what nature is doing rather than remove it and force something else".

My photo gallery from the weekend:





Anthea Davies

Very inspiring. Looks like a great way to spend a productive weekend in a beautiful setting getting closer to our roots and natural gifts.
Thanks for the film, Pete


Katherine Lucy Sang

Thank you. Reminded of beautifully happy childhood memories. Wonderful folk :)

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