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)


Fuerteventura : windy island of beauty


After leaving Fuerteventura, the nature really stays with the you. The vast expanse of sky, the lunar landscape of the interior, the orange sand and black volcanic rocks and the crashing waves and clear night skies.

I first made it to the Canaries in 2001 and ended up in Fuerteventura. After a little nosing around we gravitated towards a quiet fishing village which seemed quite different to the rest of the island, retaining a rustic charm and not dominated by tourism. Fifteen years on, very little has changed in El Cotillo and it remains a real gem of a place if you like spectacular nature, scenery, a small village with a few restaurants and bars and plenty of sunshine. A perfect antidote to the depressing late winter weather in the UK, in fact!

Lonely Planet says "Fuerteventura lies just 100km from the African coast, and there are similarities not only with the landscape, but also the houses, with their North African–style architecture. In other ways, Fuerteventura emulates its neighbour Lanzarote, only with more colours. Its volcanoes resemble piles of saffron, chilli and coriander, surreal triangles of exotic spices.

Most visitors, however, are more interested in mastering the waves and the wind than contemplating the abstract aesthetics of the scenery. The second-largest island in the archipelago (after Tenerife), Fuerteventura has year-round sunshine and the biggest and best beaches in the Canaries."

El Cotillo is a haven on the north west coast, well away from the British holiday tourism of Corralejo.  A rustic, typical Spanish fishing village with a very quiet charm. It has changed little in fourteen years since my first visit there. 

North of the village is a wonderful expanse of untainted naturist beaches, sand dunes and lagoons, a fifteen minute cycle ride or 40 minute walk. There are many stone breakers thoughtfully constructed on the beach, which provide welcome shelter from the wind. Best to arrive early to get one. Rock pools for crabbing when the tide is out , water filling the lagoons for great swimming when the tide comes in. South of the town are larger beaches, more geared towards surfing and citing, often windswept and catching the full force of the waves. High season is January to March but there we’re still precious few tourists this year and I enjoyed a calm, relaxed time working in the mornings, going to the beach most afternoons, though the weather does tend to change at the drop of a hat so take a jumper or a waterproof jacket if the forecast is mixed. It was a pleasant 20-25 degrees every day and you only need a light jacket or jumper in the evenings. There are several excellent cafes and restaurants around the old harbour and I’d also recommend the bike hire place on the main street, out towards the supermarket. 

After leaving Fuerteventura, the nature really stays with the you. The vast expanse of sky, the lunar landscape of the interior, the orange sand and black volcanic rocks and the crashing waves and clear night skies. 






Pete Lawrence


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