Fence too high. Fence too low. Too many police. Not enough police. Sun too hot. Music too loud. Port-a-potty too stinky. The list goes on and on.
But the biggest complaint?
The "stormers": the people that don't pay to be in a band and then slow down the parade for the participants and the spectators.
I'm going to be real for a second. This ain't about a fix, cause nothing ain't broken.
And this shit ain't complicated.
Do what was working before and add ropes.
I'm no rocket scientist, but if you have the same number of people attending a parade (1 million+) but shorten the parade route down the Lakeshore, don't you think more people are going to converge in a much smaller spot and ruin the experience.
Keep the parade moving down the road. Go through the Ex and do the judging, but don't shut the route off so early. The road is closed, so why stop the parade? You let it flow, there is more space, and one million people aren't trying to jump up behind one 18 wheeler truck.
Add ropes. Barbados does it for Kadooment. It works. Cost peanuts to buy rope from Dollarama. All paying folks playing mas stay in the ropes behind the truck, and the "stormers" still get to flow with the band, but they don't interfere (and attempt to dance off key) with the ladies in the band. And yes, it's only the ladies they harrass.
Simple stuff man. Simple. And it's been done. And it works.