Heavy rockers Slayer have urged fans planning to attend a special memorial for late bandmate Jeff Hanneman to pay no attention to religious protesters who have announced plans to picket outside the Los Angeles ceremony.

Over 4,000 people are expected to flock to the Hollywood Palladium to celebrate the bassist's life on Thursday afternoon (23May13), but they will be greeted by members of the fundamentalist Christian Westboro Baptist Church, who are set to perform a parody of Ozzy Osbourne's Crazy Train as devotees file into the memorial service.

However, the surviving stars of Slayer are determined not to give the campaigners the satisfaction of even acknowledging them - and they've encouraged fans to do the same.

A message posted on Facebook.com reads: "Want to really p**s off the Westboro Baptist Church at Jeff's Memorial Celebration? Do exactly what Slayer members and family are going to do - totally ignore them. They don't exist. And then come inside and celebrate Jeff's life with us."

Church members have courted controversy in recent years by picketing outside high-profile events, including concerts by Radiohead and Foo Fighters, and using the platform to spread anti-gay and other hateful messages.

Hanneman died of alcohol-related cirrhosis earlier this month (May13) .