Re: Plenty of air forces out there...
In Europe, maybe. Not in the US. You should see the Fleet Week air show in San Francisco sometime. The close formation action takes place over the bay, but I've also seen a fighter (F16?) come in over the crowd low and loud
Singles maybe (though it's still frowned upon).
It's anything involving head-on maneuvres (like the Red's Synchro Pair) that must be done parallel to the crowd line so in principle the momentum of debris carries it parallel to the crowd, not into it.
It's not so much distance between aircraft and spectators as the direction and orientation of the display with respect to the spectators.