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TEDxCardiff - Pete Lawrence - Social Glue May 31, 2011

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Pete is best known as the co-founder of The Big Chill which has spawned a ground breaking festival, club event and London venues. Lawrence conceived an idea for a new type of Sunday multimedia club back in early 1994. It was the first London club to have its own website and to offer free internet access and paved the way for the 'chill out' boom of the late 90s, which became the soundtrack for lifestyle TV and advertising.

Lawrence soon adapted the formula for an outdoors setting, and The Big Chill Festival was born, growing by word of mouth from 600 people in 1995 to its current size of around 30,000, setting a new agenda and giving birth to the concept of the "boutique" festival, at the same time becoming one of the top half dozen outdoor events in the country. The attention to detail, idyllic rural locations chosen, and nurturing of a loyal online community, created a blueprint for a unique and groundbreaking event, which spawned many imitators, and changed the face of festival history in the UK. Pete resigned as director and shareholder of The Big Chill in February 2008. The company has just been bought by Festival Republic.

Back in the mid 80s Pete was becoming recognised as a respected tastemaker when he discovered and spontaneously recorded US folk singer Michelle Shocked on a walkman around a Texas campfire back in the 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 sold half a million copies, and provide Cooking Vinyl with the perfect launch pad to become one of the country's top independent labels.

Pete records under the name of Chilled By Nature, a project which has been very much a labour of love over the last ten years. It is the realisation of an ongoing musical vision that has been distilling over time, shaped by a bewildering variety of musical influences, and real life experiences.

In December 2006, Pete was voted into Time Out's Top 100 'movers and shakers' alongside the likes of Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Madonna, Phillip Green, Brian Paddick, Ken Livingstone and Tony Blair. The magazine famously described him as "chief eskimo of kingdom chill".

Pete is currently working on Pic-Nic Village, a blueprint for a new style of social networking community. The proposition for Pic-Nic Village is an evolutionary community for creative thinkers, funded, owned and shaped by its own members.



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