Lavillenie, unbeaten in 15 previous meetings this year both indoors and outside, delayed his entry until the bar had reached 5.70 metres. The competition had already begun while he was being paraded around the track on the back of a car accompanied by Brazilian samba dancers and drummers.
He soared over the bar with his first attempt on a cool, windy evening but then failed with all three tries at 5.83, winning on a countback ahead of Brazil's Augusto Dutra and fellow-Frenchman Kevin Menaldo.
Benjamin Campaore gave the crowd of 42,154 something to cheer early in the meeting when he relegated American Olympic champion Christian Taylor into second place in the men's triple jump with a personal best this year of 17.12 metres.
Kenya's twice world 1,500 metres champion and 2008 Olympic gold medallist Asbel Kiprop then warmed up for a possible attempt on Hicham El Guerrouj's world record in Monaco on July 18 with a world leading time of one minute 43.34 seconds in the 800 metres.
Kiprop is also the fastest man over 1,500 metres this year.
"It was a good buildup," he said. "My plan is to run fast in Monaco."
There was another season's world best in the men's high hurdles where Jamaica's Hansle Parchment, the Olympic bronze medallist clocked a national record of 12.94 seconds ahead of French favourite Pascal Martinot-Lagarde.
Parchment was forced to miss last Thursday's Lausanne Diamond League meeting when his aircraft returned to Kingston following mechanical problems.
World 200 metres bronze medallist Blessing Okagbare, who failed to finish the 100 metres in Lausanne, defeated American Olympic champion Allyson Felix with a time of 22.32.
Okagbare, who was second in the long jump at last year's Moscow world championships, said she would definitely compete in the sprints at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games starting this month but was unsure if she would jump in Scotland.
The final event of the evening, the men's 100 metres was delayed when Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade argued with officials after he was disqualified for a false start before reluctantly leaving the track.
- Sports & Recreation
- Athletics, Track & Field
- Augusto Dutra