Red Ken’s SXSW

Legendary concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith described Ken Livingstone’s last term as Lord Mayor of London as a “disgrace,” but the city’s former Labour leader has launched a series of new measures to support the capital’s music industry.

Goldsmith recently hinted that he may also run for office in the 2012 election to decide who runs London, but Livingstone – commonly referred to as “Red Ken” – has made an early move to lay out his plans for the future of the city’s music business.

In “Ken4Music,” he commits to working with venues across London to produce an international festival and music biz expo, on the lines of South by Southwest, and setting up a forum to ensure better lines of communication between local authorities, the mayor, and the music industry.

He’ll also break new ground by incorporating the protection of live music venues into the Mayor’s planning strategy – or “the London Plan” – for the first time.

“I believe the Mayor of London must be passionate in backing live music and today I’m setting out some new ideas that will ensure the long-term future of live music in the capital,” he said.

Livingstone explained Aug. 9 how he’ll go about “Saving London’s Pubs,” which involves working with councils to make greater use of discretionary planning powers to protect pubs from closure, encouraging greater community ownership of pubs and backing campaigns calling for landlords to get better treatment from the pub companies.

At press time it hadn’t been possible to get Goldsmith’s view of Livingstone’s music policy or to confirm whether he intends to run for Mayor of London in 2012.