Dinner With Jimmy Song Costs More Than The Ritz
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Ever fancied having dinner with a Bitcoin developer? How about a barbecue with a celebrity Bitcoin developer, who’s also a real-life cowboy?
If you do, and happen to live in London, you’re in luck. Jimmy Song, the famous Bitcoin developer and educator, is hosting a ‘Carnivory’ next Thursday. The only hitch: tickets are going to set you back more than $260.
Described as a “Brazilian and Bitcoin experience,” the London Carnivory Dinner will take place on February 7th, between 19:00-22:00 GMT. Hosted by Jimmy Song and Youtube content creator, Tone Vays, guests can enjoy a “delicious” Brazillian BBQ and a receive a free gift – but no alcohol – all for the price of $262.18. There will be no admission without a ticket, according to the events page, and prices will likely be higher at the door.
Dinner at the Ritz London – which features Michelin star dining – costs $195 per person. A set menu at the Savoy Grill would set you back $128.
The Carnivory will be held at the Brazillian-themed restaurant Rodizio Rico, in North London. A quick look on the website revealed their normal meat-filled BBQ dinner costs £27.90 – approximately $36.50 – per person. In other words, Carnivory guests will pay an extra $225.68 for the pleasure of Song and Vay’s company.
Both names have long been associated with Bitcoin maximalism, but this time, a simple credit card will do. You can pay for your dining experience with Visa, Mastercard, AmEx or Discover Card. Cryptocurrency, alas, is not an option.
Based on the announcement, Song appears to know London about as well as he knows what ‘fiat’ means. Although the events page says the Carnivory is taking place in the City of London, the restaurant itself is in Islington, at least two miles away.
Crypto Briefing reached out to the Bitcoin Carnivory Club for comment on the price. We received a reply from Song himself, who defended the pricing. “Like any market-based price, it’s because if we charged too little, there would be too many people signing up,” he wrote in an email. “For example, if we charged $50 or so, the event would sell out too fast. We’ve charged similar prices for Carnivory dinners all over the world, so this is not anything new.”
Selling out too fast does not look like it will be a problem this time. At the time of writing, the Eventbrite page still showed 24 unsold tickets- meaning they hope to gross at least $6,000 if they can sell out by next Thursday.
Song didn’t reply to questions on whether tickets for the event were selling. We called Rodizio Rico twice to speak about the Carnivory Dinner, but both times the manager was unavailable.
Organizers have since removed the name of the restaurant from the events page.
Let them eat steak
Jimmy Song has all sorts of roles. In an interview he gave back in September, Song said that as well as his course on programming on the blockchain, he is also publishing a book, speaking at conferences, advising firms and doing some “side-consulting.” He has also frequently appeared on Vays’ Youtube channel, Bitcoin Brief.
This isn’t the first time the two hosts have chewed the fat with their fans. There was another Carnivory event in Prague in early October, which charged a similar price to London’s; the first, in Chicago, charged guests $313. Both previous events were also hosted by Song and Vays.
A 45-minute video from the Chicago event shows two long tables in a function room, with Song sitting at the end of one table talking to his immediate neighbours.
Public reception to next week’s Carnivory hasn’t been all that positive. When Song posted a link to the event on his Twitter account yesterday, other users were quick to criticize organizers for the price.
Guys, great initiative, but $262 for a steak dinner worth no more than $60 and not including drinks? That’s.. not right. What is the $200 value added? I wouldn’t exactly call this community building. Also, a side note for your marketing message: Rodizio Rico is not in the City..
— Christopher Bendiksen (@C_Bendiksen) January 29, 2019
But Song thinks the high price is entirely justified. He highlighted in his email that it kept the event exclusive, creating a better networking opportunity for attendees. In fact, he said past guests had been in favor of pricey tickets.
He wrote: “We’ve had great feedback from attendees that the higher price tends to filter for higher quality networking opportunities. Many have told us that it’s a better networking event than conferences which cost 10x as much since dinner is a much more natural place to get to know people than being in the audience to a talk at the same time.”
Whether the event is a valuable networking opportunity depends entirely on the guests that go. Considering this event lasts for three hours, whereas conferences often go on for a day or so, it’ll have to be some fast-paced mooching.
For those who are curious if Jimmy Song wears his cowboy hat to dinner but do not want to pay two hundred bucks to find out, here’s a free view of the last time he was paid to eat.
Spoiler: he does.
The author is invested in digital assets, including BTC which is mentioned in this article.