Norman Jay MBE

"I have enjoyed the amazing privilege of having deejayed at some the world’s finest music festivals over the years, but none is closer to my heart than the UK’s Big Chill and the man who was responsible for first introducing me to the concept of ‘chillin’ to great live music and dj’s in the beautiful English countryside was none other than the visionary Pete Lawrence.

It was Pete’s quiet, self effacing charm when we first met all those years ago (1994) backstage at a tiny boutique jazz festival on Sydney’s infamous Bondi Beach that convinced me I should take up his invitation to join a fledgling Big Chill line-up the following summer back in the UK at Larmer Tree’s ‘Enchanted Garden’.

The rest, as they say is history. I have always found Pete a real pleasure to work with. Always very accommodating and very professional in all aspects of our working relationship. I can’t praise his organisational skills highly enough. Pete really IS the genuine article."  NORMAN JAY MBE, DJ

Mark Cooper, BBC

"Pete Lawrence is one of those rare movers and shakers around music, culture and politics who keeps turning up in interesting places with new sounds, shifts and ideas that wind up entering the body politic and changing the way people feel and hear things. Plus he always plays good music." MARK COOPER, BBC HEAD OF MUSIC 

Erica Ruben, event organiser

"Pete Lawrence was a major inspiration and guru to me that profoundly affected my programming approach at Central Park SummerStage in New York City. Solely because of Pete’s encouragement, Central Park SummerStage launched a programming style that was ground breaking in New York City at the time. While many other advisors looked at me like I was crazy for programming house music dj’s on a bill with Cuban folkloric groups, Pete was the only curator at the time that shared and supported my ridiculed vision. He was right. He was very right. The event was a smash success and blew open the doors to a new programming agenda at the festival.

Pete’s ability to predict our cultural and media future were brilliantly manifest by the success of the Big Chill. It is a pleasure to recognize Pete as the inventor of such a major movement as the chill out scene. His cultural impact has crossed all international borders and is still in style worldwide.

Over the years I’ve always looked to Pete for his profound knowledge of all things cool and elegant. His massive fan base of tastemakers also reflects Pete’s quiet sense of integrity. Pete has always led the way, and many of us joyously follow him. Pete is a genuine visionary who has had a colossal impact on us all."  


Mr Scruff, DJ

"Pete Lawrence is a legend. In addition to his not inconsiderable DJing & producer skills, he has a gift for bringing together lovely people and creating something really special."

Danny Rampling, DJ

"I have known Pete for many years. I watched him turn the Big Chill festival from a small event for a couple of thousand to the monster festival it is today. His passion for music and energy and drive to make things happen are evident to everyone who has worked with him. Pete is a massive music fan but he is also always calm and clear headed. Passion and calm, an unusual and very useful combination. Pete is a natural born connector of people far and wide the success of the Big Chill brand is an example of Pete’s creative driving force,never following always leading from the alternative frontline. I look forward to what Pete’s next new exciting venture has in store for us."

Mark Ellen, publisher and broadcaster

"My earliest memory of Pete Lawrence was when he sent Q Magazine The Texas Campfire Tapes album he made in the ’80s, recorded on a Sony Professional. This was the best portable recording device available at the time – I had one – and Pete had brilliantly figured out that he could make a live album for the cost of a blank cassette and a couple of Duracell batteries.
A landmark moment in the history of modern music and a taste of things to come."

Matt Black, Ninja Tune and Coldcut founder

"’I have known Pete a long time and always been struck by his ability to bring people, music and art together to create unique moments, many of which have been high points in my own life. I’m writing this from Goa which I first came to for the Big Chill here, possibly the greatest party ever!

Pete is a natural force and I await his next move with excitement"

Rob Da Bank, Bestival founder

"The Big Chill was such a fantastic festival and definitely opened my eyes to more of the possibilities of creating a multi layered arts event rather than just a bog standard festival. Pete has always been a very level headed artist with a unique way of curating events and I can’t wait to see what he’s cooking up next.."

Bruce Bickerton, musician

"I’ve worked alongside Pete on a large number of projects over the past 10 years. He possesses a rare personality – the juxtaposition of quiet understatement combined with the ability to hand over complete trust and autonomy. This in turn inspires enthusiasm which is contagious, instilling motivation in others. He’s community-spirited, and his track record demonstrates his unique skill at bringing large, diverse groups together primarily through music and/or other mutual interests. Pete is also a consummate taste-maker too, and I have absolutely no hesitation in singing his praises.

Garald Seligman, Unesco

"Pete Lawrence has a knack for being just a few key steps ahead of everyone else. When it was working with Cooking Vinyl, he didn’t follow trends but anticipated them. More so when it came to creating The Big Chill, the event that set the stage for what became an international chillout music movement that lasts to this day. Along with all this is an ethic that works towards collaboration, bringing people together, networking. I am not alone in looking keenly forward to Pic-Nic Village. With such a track record, you can be sure whatever he does will be worthy of interest. And maybe, yet again, emulation."

Anette Dal Jensen

"There’s only one Pete Lawrence – he is the maestro and game-changer of the UK festival scene with a knowledge of music unrivalled by any working DJ in this country, in my opinion. I loved and treasure every event at which I have worked or performed. With the Big Chill Festival, he created a community, a platform for much new talent, some now international stars, and he created the blueprint of so many festivals in the UK and indeed the world today. A true pioneer."