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."