Goudvishal Arnhem: DIY or Die!

Bergstraat squatted by punks


Venues where we could see ‘our bands’ e.g. punk (and new wave) bands were always pivotal in punk culture. The live concerts were the main gatherings where we as a socio-cultural group could establish ourselves as a group. In the beginning, most venues in The Netherlands we could see our punk bands perform mostly were hippie squats that had turned into state-controlled youth centers.

Here the punks were one of the many problem youth groups the youth workers had to cater for. Some of the youth centers rejected punk straightforwardly, some embraced the new \wave but in none of the youth centers did the punks have real autonomy.

In a lot of the youth centers the tensions and conflicts between the local punks and the (mostly) hippie management of the youth centers mounted and led to outbreaks of violence and the banning of punk shows .

In Arnhem, the Stokvishal catered for live shows from many of the late 1970s and early 1980s major names in the UK and US punk and new wave, combining their live programming with that of another former hippie paradise, the Amsterdam club Paradiso.

After the closing of the Stokvishal in 1984 a new breed of punks rallied around to create their own punk subcultural space.

In the early 1980s, there had been several local attempts but all were doomed and quickly and often violently terminated by the (police) authorities. New wave took a turn towards the international pop charts and punk took a deep dive into the underground. For the first time, the punks across the Netherlands and Europe appropriated their own punk culture with their own punk records, fanzine and venue infrastructure, often organized in squats. The Goudvishal was squatted on April 18 1984 by a group of punks mostly younger than 20 years of age.

This D.I.Y. culture gave birth to the ‘Golden Age of European Hardcore Punk’ of which the Goudvishal Arnhem was an important local, regional, national and international European exponent.


Marcel Stol (1964) graduated MSc Sociology / Mass Communications in 1995 at Radboud University Nijmegen The Netherlands, specialization ‘Mass Communications and Culture’ and further specialization  ‘Culture Industry’.

He did a couple of fanzines,  on and off 1979 – 1984 (Shock and De Zelfk®ant). Founder, bass player and present lead singer of Dutch punk band Neuroot, from 1980-1988 and again from 2012 until now.

Co-founder, gig promoter, poster designer and printer of and for the Punk squat venue De Goudvishal in Arnhem.

At the moment he is (co) working on a book on the Goudvishal and punk in Arnhem ‘Goudvishal: DIY or Die! Punk in Arnhem 1977-1990’ which will be published end of 2021 beginning of 2022 by Wintertuin.

After having completed the first volume in 2021 he is now (co) working on the completion of a second Vinyl LP ‘Live at Goudvishal 1984-1990: DIY or Die! Volume 2’ that will be released in 2022.