Westboro fizzes at Lorde concert

GUY MACGIBBON
Last updated 10:47 23/03/2014

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A religious hate group protesting Kiwi pop star Lorde in Kansas City failed to put the fear of God into concert-goers, a New Zealander at the show says.

About 30 protesters from Westboro Baptist Church, the anti-gay movement known for their "God hates fags" slogan, picketed Lorde's show on Friday night (local time).

It was the church's first protest since pastor and founder Fred Phelps' death last week.

"There weren't many picketers in the end, I guess because their leader died the other day," Kiwi Lorde fan Karin Turner said. Among the protesters was a girl aged about 8, Turner said.

Counter-protesters responded with a message of compassion in a sign that read "sorry for your loss".

The message meant nothing to Westboro member Steve Drain.

"I don't even know what they're saying," he said, KSHB Kansas City reported.

The protesters had gone by the time the concert finished, Turner said.

"Lorde was great, the theatre was nearly full, a lovely opera-style theatre," she said.

Ahead of the concert, the church said it wanted "to warn the living", because Lorde "doesn't have enough sense to put in a thimble".

Lorde carried an "idolatrous attraction for worthless human royalty", the church said.

"[Lorde] spends her time, energy and talent serving herself and teaching other young people how to be indolent rebels," it says.

Lorde responded on Twitter by calling for concert-goers to wear rainbow colours and kiss member of the protest group of the same sex, though she later deleted the tweets.

Westboro's website says members have protested nearly 53,000 events including concerts and military soldier funerals.

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